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Low-intensity illumination for lensless digital holographic microscopy with minimized sample interaction

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posted on 2023-05-17, 16:01 authored by Bartosz Mirecki, Mikołaj Rogalski, Piotr Arcab, Piotr Rogujski, Luiza Stanaszek, Michał Józwik, Maciej Truisak
Exposure to laser light alters cell culture examination via optical microscopic imaging techniques, also based on label-free coherent digital holography. To mitigate this detrimental feature, researchers tend to use a broader spectrum and lower intensity of illumination, which can decrease the quality of holographic imaging due to lower resolution and higher noise. We study the lensless digital holographic microscopy (LDHM) ability to operate in the low photon budget (LPB) regime to enable imaging of unimpaired live cells with minimized sample interaction. Low-cost off-the-shelf components are used, promoting the usability of such a straightforward approach. We show that recording data in the LPB regime (down to 7 uW of illumination power) does not limit the contrast nor resolution of the hologram phase and amplitude reconstruction compared to the regular illumination. The LPB generates hardware camera shot noise, however, to be effectively minimized via numerical denoising. The ability to obtain high-quality, high-resolution optical complex field reconstruction was confirmed using the USAF 1951 amplitude sample, phase resolution test target, and finally, live glial restricted progenitor cells (as a challenging strongly absorbing and scattering biomedical sample). The proposed approach based on severely limiting the photon budget in lensless holographic microscopy method can open new avenues in high-throughout (optimal resolution, large field-of-view and high signal-to-noise-ratio single-hologram reconstruction) cell culture imaging with minimized sample interaction.



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