Quantitative phase imaging provides high contrast images of live cells and therefore it is a useful tool for cell morphology studies. Moreover the quantitative phase imaging can be combined with fluorescence in order to prove specific cell states afterwards.


Fat globules in adipocytes have high mass density. Using common techniques there are problems with their imaging because of halo artifact. Q-PHASE provides clear images without these artifacts.

Cell morphology analysis

Evaluation of principal characteristics of cell morphology and cell mass is possible even in Q-PHASE control software. Demonstration of available analysis is shown in this short video.

At first, you can see quantitative phase imaging of plumbagin-treated PC-3 cell deaths on the left and segmentation of cells on the right part of the Q-PHASE control software window. After that, analysis of morphological changes in evaluated parameters, such as cell area, cell perimeter, circularity and cell mass, is shown. Different types of the cell deaths can be detected and distinguished according to the analysis.

Detection of apoptotic cells

In quantitative phase image, cell morphology is clearly visible and different cell states can be distinguished. As a proof that the imaged cell is apoptotic, specific fluorescent dye Annexin V was used and the apoptotic cell is visible in fluorescence image.

Relevant publication: J. Balvan, et al.: Multimodal holographic microscopy: distinction between apoptosis and oncosis, PloS one, 2015.

Multimodal imaging of human prostate cancer cells

Morphology of human prostate cancer cells was imaged by quantitative phase imaging. Fluorescent dye SYTO 16 was used to stain the nuclei.

Plant samples

Imaging of samples from plant biology can produce interesting contrast to studied structures.

Courtesy of Radek Pelc, RNDr. & DPhil., Institute of Physiology, ASCR.