8 May 2014 Multimodal label-free in vitro toxicity testing with digital holographic microscopy
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Abstract
Common in vitro toxicity tests of drugs, chemicals or nanomaterials involves the measurement of cellular endpoints like stress response, cell viability, proliferation or cell death. The assay systems determine enzyme activity or protein expression by optical read out of enzyme substrates or marker protein labeling. These standard procedures have several disadvantages. Cellular processes have to be stopped at a distinct time point for the read out, where usually only parts of the cells were affected by the treatment with substances. Typically, only one parameter is analyzed and detection of cellular processes requires several time consuming incubations and washing steps.

Here we have applied digital holographic microscopy (DHM) for a multimodal label-free analysis of drug toxicity. NIH 3T3 cells were incubated with 1 μM Taxol for 24 h. The recorded quantitative phase images were analyzed for cell thickness, cell volume, dry mass and cell migration. Taxol treated cells showed rapidly decreasing cell motility as measure of cell viability. A short increase in cell thickness and dry mass indicated cell division and growth in control cells, whereas Taxol treatment resulted in a continuous increase in cell height followed by a rapid decrease and a decrease of dry mass as indicators of cell death.

Multimodal DHM analysis of drug treatment by multiple parameters allows direct and label-free detection of several toxicity parameters in parallel. DHM can quantify cellular reactions minimally invasive over a long time period and analyze kinetics of delayed cellular responses. Our results demonstrate digital holographic microscopy as a valuable tool for multimodal toxicity testing.
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Christina E. Rommel, Christian Dierker, Angelika Vollmer, Steffi Ketelhut, Björn Kemper, Juergen Schnekenburger, "Multimodal label-free in vitro toxicity testing with digital holographic microscopy", Proc. SPIE 9129, Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care IV, 912940 (8 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054374; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054374
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