Department of Bioengineering


Our lab applies the principles of fluid mechanics and mass transport to study transport in single cells using both established and emerging microscopy techniques. Current work focuses on the use of live cell interferometry (LCI) to quantify mass distributions within single cells and multicellular clumps. The resulting measurements can be used to assess the total mass of, or the transport of mass within, individual cells.

Live Cell Interferometry

Live cell interferometry (LCI) is a quantitative phase microscopy technique. LCI measures the phase shift of light as it passes though, and interacts with matter inside of a cell. This phase shift image can then be converted into a map of the distribution of mass across a cell or multicellular colony.

LCI schematic

The image above shows a schematic of the basic LCI microscope and a sample image of a single human pluripotent stem cell colony. Many such images can be captured over time to measure the total mass of a colony/cell, or its changing mass distribution over time: