Quantitative microscopy and nanoscopy of sickle red blood cells performed by wide field digital interferometry.

Journal Article (Letter)

We have applied wide-field digital interferometry (WFDI) to examine the morphology and dynamics of live red blood cells (RBCs) from individuals who suffer from sickle cell anemia (SCA), a genetic disorder that affects the structure and mechanical properties of RBCs. WFDI is a noncontact, label-free optical microscopy approach that can yield quantitative thickness profiles of RBCs and measurements of their membrane fluctuations at the nanometer scale reflecting their stiffness. We find that RBCs from individuals with SCA are significantly stiffer than those from a healthy control. Moreover, we show that the technique is sensitive enough to distinguish classes of RBCs in SCA, including sickle RBCs with apparently normal morphology, compared to the stiffer crescent-shaped sickle RBCs. We expect that this approach will be useful for diagnosis of SCA and for determining efficacy of therapeutic agents.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shaked, NT; Satterwhite, LL; Telen, MJ; Truskey, GA; Wax, A

Published Date

  • March 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 030506 -

PubMed ID

  • 21456860

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21456860

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1560-2281

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1117/1.3556717


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States