Ultraviolet hyperspectral interferometric (UHI) microscopy is a novel molecular imaging technique that retrieves wideband, high-resolution spectral information of the wavelength-dependent real part of the refractive index (i.e., dispersion), and the total attenuation coefficient of biological samples in the deep-ultraviolet (UV) spectral region. This method enables highly sensitive, label-free molecular imaging with sensitivity to various dispersion-causing and absorptive biomolecules that play an important role in diseases, including cancer. UHI also provides insight into structure of biological samples by yielding quantitative phase maps with subcellular spatial resolution and nanometer-scaled sensitivity.
In this work, we give a detailed description of the UHI system, signal processing methods, and demonstrate its ability to quantify the dispersive and absorptive properties of biological samples in the deep-UV spectral region (240-450 nm). We will show dispersion, absorption, and quantitative phase data from red blood cells, as well as nucleated cells (e.g., granulocytes). We will also assess the deep-UV dispersion and absorptive properties of important biomolecules (e.g., DNA, RNA, NADH, FAD, collagen, cytochrome C, and hemoglobin). Finally, we will discuss potential biomedical applications, including identification of various blood abnormalities and imaging of histology slides for cancer detection and staging.