Holographic Microscopy

Introducing a revolutionary way to instantly see inside living cells, in real time, in 3D and label-free!

The disruptive technique of holographic microscopy works by passing light through the cell and recording the resulting light wave front. By collecting multiple packets of this information from multiple angles, we are able to reconstruct a 3D image of the cell with incredible clarity.

Nanolive 3D Cell Explorer

The Nanolive 3D Cell Explorer is a self-adjusting, holographic and tomographic microscope. Through a combination of holography and rotational scanning the system precisely measures the distribution of the physical refractive index (RI) within the cell. It does this in 3D and in real-time with impressive results. One 3D cell image is presented on-screen every 2 seconds, allowing you to follow cell kinetics and acitivities. Being label-free, cells are seen in their natural state and an innovative and intuitive software package (STEVE) is used to digitally stain the images. This is quantitative staining based on physical markers. Digital stains can be saved, edited, re-used and shared.


The Tescan Q-Phase is a multimodal, Coherence-controlled holographic microscope for quantitative phase imaging (QPI). It uses incoherent light sources, enabling imaging of samples in turbid media and is purposefully designed to observe living cells in vitro. Based on a robust inverted transmission microscope platform, the whole system is situated in an incubator and includes full motorisation. This system includes multiple imaging modes with fully integrated fluorescence, simulated DOC and brightfield imaging options, making it valuable research tool for biological and biotechnical applications.

What Can Be Measured Using Holographic Microscopy

With holographic microscopy, various cell metrics can be measured and monitored, including:

  • Area
  • Thickness
  • Volume
  • Texture
  • Motility
  • Irregularity
  • Density distribution
  • Reactions to treatments
  • Life cycle analysis

Applications of Holographic Microscopy

Holographic microscopy has wide application, particularly within the field of cell biology. Some of these applications include:

  • Cell morphology
  • Intracellular processes
  • Cell-cell and cell-microorganism interactions
  • Nanoparticle uptake
  • Tissue imaging