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Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1670; doi:10.3390/s16101670

Low-Coherence Reflectometry for Refractive Index Measurements of Cells in Micro-Capillaries

1
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e dell’Informazione, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Via Ferrata 5, I-27100 Pavia, Italy
2
Istituto di Genetica Molecolare IGM-C.N.R., Via Abbiategrasso 207, I-27100 Pavia, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie “L. Spallanzani”, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Via Ferrata 9, I-27100 Pavia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alexandre François, Al Meldrum and Nicolas Riesen
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 7 October 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Label-Free Optical Biosensors)
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Abstract

The refractive index of cells provides insights into their composition, organization and function. Moreover, a good knowledge of the cell refractive index would allow an improvement of optical cytometric and diagnostic systems. Although interferometric techniques undoubtedly represent a good solution for quantifying optical path variation, obtaining the refractive index of a population of cells non-invasively remains challenging because of the variability in the geometrical thickness of the sample. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of infrared low-coherence reflectometry for non-invasively quantifying the average refractive index of cell populations gently confined in rectangular glass micro-capillaries. A suspension of human red blood cells in plasma is tested as a reference. As a use example, we apply this technique to estimate the average refractive index of cell populations belonging to epithelial and hematological families. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-coherence reflectometry; rectangular micro-capillary; infrared radiation; cell refractive index; cell cultures; drug discovery low-coherence reflectometry; rectangular micro-capillary; infrared radiation; cell refractive index; cell cultures; drug discovery
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Carpignano, F.; Rigamonti, G.; Mazzini, G.; Merlo, S. Low-Coherence Reflectometry for Refractive Index Measurements of Cells in Micro-Capillaries. Sensors 2016, 16, 1670.

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