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Quantitative phase imaging of action potentials in mammalian cell culture (Conference Presentation)
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Paper Abstract

Movements of the cell membrane accompanying action potentials have been detected by various methods, including reflection of a laser beam, atomic force microscopy and even bright-field microscopy. However, imaging of the entire cell dynamics during action potential has not been achieved, and the mechanism behind this phenomenon is still actively debated. Here we report full-field interferometric imaging of cellular movements during action potential by simultaneous quantitative phase microscopy (QPM) and multi-electrode array (MEA) recordings. Using spike-triggered averaging of the movies synchronized to electrical recording, we demonstrate deformations of up to 3 nm (0.9 mrad) during the action potential in spiking HEK-293 cells, with a rise time of 4 ms. The time course of the optically-recorded action potential is very similar to intracellular potential recorded with a whole-cell patch clamp, while the time derivative of the rising edge of the optical spike matches the timing and duration of the extracellular electrical recording on MEA. In some cells, phase increases at the center and decreases along the cell boundaries, while in others it increases on one side and decreases on the other. These findings suggest that optical phase changes during an action potential are due to cellular deformation, likely associated with changes in the membrane tension, rather than refractive index change due to ion influx or cell swelling. High-speed QPM may enable all-optical, label-free, full-field imaging of electrical activity in mammalian cells.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2019
Proc. SPIE 10887, Quantitative Phase Imaging V, 1088715 (4 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2508813
Show Author Affiliations
Tong Ling, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Kevin C. Boyle, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Georges Goetz, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Peng Zhou, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Yi Quan, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Felix S. Alfonso, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Tiffany W. Huang, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Daniel Palanker, Stanford Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10887:
Quantitative Phase Imaging V
Gabriel Popescu; YongKeun Park, Editor(s)

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