We present an implementation of spectrally encoded slit confocal microscopy. The method employs a rapid wavelength-swept laser as the light source and illuminates a specimen with a line focus that scans through the specimen as the wavelength sweeps. The reflected light from the specimen is imaged with a stationary line scan camera, in which the finite pixel height serves as a slit aperture. This scanner-free operation enables a simple and cost-effective implementation in a small form factor, while allowing for the three-dimensional imaging of biological samples.
Quantitative measurement of dynamic responses of unstained living cells is of great importance in many applications ranging from investigation of fundamental cellular functions to drug discoveries. Conventional optical methods for label-free cell-based assay examine cellular structural changes proximal to sensor surfaces under external stimuli, but require dedicated nanostructure-patterned substrates for operation. Here, we present a quantitative imaging method, spectral-domain optical coherence phase microscopy (SD-OCPM), as a viable optical platform for label-free cell-based assay. The instrument is based on a low-coherence interferometric microscope that enables quantitative depth-resolved phase measurement of a transparent specimen with high phase stability. We demonstrate SD-OCPM measurement of dynamic responses of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) to 2-picolinic acid (PA) and histamine.