Abstract

We have used a novel phase-referenced heterodyne dual-beam low-coherence interferometer to perform what we believe are the first noncontact measurements of surface motion in a nerve bundle during the action potential. Nerve displacements of 5-nm amplitude and 10-ms duration are measured without signal averaging. This interferometer may find general application in measurement of small motion in cells and other weakly scattering samples.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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