Real-time and non-invasive measurements of cell mechanical behaviour with optical coherence phase microscopy

D. Gillies, W. Gamal, A. Downes, Y. Reinwald, Y. Yang, A. J. El Haj, P. O. Bagnaninchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
150 Downloads (Pure)


Cell mechanical behaviour is increasingly recognised as a central biophysical parameter in cancer and stem cell research, and methods of investigating their mechanical behaviour are therefore needed. We have developed a novel qualitative method based on quantitative phase imaging which is capable of investigating cell mechanical behaviour in real-time at cellular resolution using optical coherence phase microscopy (OCPM), and stimulating the cells non-invasively using hydrostatic pressure. The method was exemplified to distinguish between cells with distinct mechanical properties, and transient change induced by Cytochalasin D. We showed the potential of quantitative phase imaging to detect nanoscale intracellular displacement induced by varying hydrostatic pressure in microfluidic channels, reflecting cell mechanical behaviour. Further physical modelling is required to yield quantitative mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
Early online date31 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Mechanical behaviour
  • Optical coherence phase microscopy
  • Phase imaging
  • Real-time monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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