We present a phase-shifting interferometric technique for imaging live biological cells in growth media, while optimizing spatial resolution and enabling potential real-time measurement capabilities. The technique uses slightly-off-axis interferometry which requires less detector bandwidth than traditional off-axis interferometry and fewer measurements than traditional on-axis interferometry. Experimental and theoretical comparisons between the proposed method and these traditional interferometric approaches are given. The method is experimentally demonstrated via phase microcopy of live human skin cancer cells.
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