Photonic time-stretch microscopy (TSM) provides an ideal platform for high-throughput imaging flow cytometry, affording extremely high shutter speeds and frame rates with high sensitivity. In order to resolve weakly scattering cells in biofluid and solve the issue of signal-to-noise in cell labeling specificity of biomarkers in imaging flow cytometry, several quantitative phase (QP) techniques have recently been adapted to TSM. However, these techniques have relied primarily on sensitive free-space optical configurations to generate full electric field measurements. The present work draws from the field of ultrashort pulse characterization to leverage the coherence of the ultrashort optical pulses integral to all TSM systems in order to do self-referenced single-shot quantitative phase imaging in a TSM system. Self-referencing is achieved via spectral shearing interferometry in an exceptionally stable and straightforward Sagnac loop incorporating an electro-optic phase modulator and polarization-maintaining fiber that produce sheared and unsheared copies of the pulse train with an inter-pulse delay determined by polarization mode dispersion. The spectral interferogram then yields a squared amplitude and a phase derivative image that can be integrated for conventional phase. We apply this spectral shearing contrast microscope to acquire QP images on a high-speed flow microscope at 90-MHz line rates with <400 pixels per line. We also consider the extension of this technique to compressed sensing (CS) acquisition by intensity modulating the interference spectra with pseudorandom binary waveforms to reconstruct the images from a highly sub-Nyquist number of random inner products, providing a path to even higher operating rates and reduced data storage requirements.
Bryan Bosworth and Mark A. Foster, "High-speed quantitative phase imaging using time-stretch spectral shearing contrast (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10076, High-Speed Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy: Toward Big Data Instrumentation and Management II, 1007610 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 01, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253106.5381802500001.
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