Quantitative phase imaging of arthropods

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Tan Nguyen

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Classification of arthropods is performed by characterization of fine features such as setae and cuticles. An unstained whole arthropod specimen mounted on a slide can be preserved for many decades, but is difficult to study since current methods require sample manipulation or tedious image processing. Spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) is a quantitative phase imaging (QPI) technique that is an add-on module to a commercial phase contrast microscope. We use SLIM to image a whole organism springtail Ceratophysella denticulata mounted on a slide. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that an entire organism has been imaged using QPI. We also demonstrate the ability of SLIM to image fine structures in addition to providing quantitative data that cannot be obtained by traditional bright field microscopy.