The ability to sift through a large heterogeneous population of cells is of paramount importance in a diverse range of biomedical and green applications. Furthermore, the capability of identifying various features of cells in a label-free manner is useful for high-throughput screening. Here we present optofluidic time-stretch quantitative phase microscopy for high-throughput label-free single-cell screening. This method is based on an integration of a hydrodynamic-focusing microfluidic chip, an optical time-stretch microscope for high-speed imaging with a spatial resolution of ~800 nm at a frame rate of ~10 million frames per second, and a digital image processor for image-based characterization, classification, and statistical analysis of biological cells such as blood cells and microalgae. It provides both the opacity (amplitude) and thickness (phase) content of every cell at a high throughput of ~10,000 cells per second. This method is expected to be effective for a diverse range of applications such as cancer detection and biofuel production.
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