Cell refractive index: Models, insights, applications and future perspectives.

Research paper by Banat B Gul, Sumara S Asharf, Shamim S Khan, Hasan H Nisar, Iftikhar I Ahmad

Indexed on: 18 Nov '20Published on: 15 Nov '20Published in: Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy


Cell refractive index (RI) is an intrinsic optical parameter that governs the propagation of light (i.e., scattering and absorption) in the cell matrix. The RI of cell is sensitively correlated with its mass distribution and thereby has the capability to provide important insights for diverse biological models. Herein, we review the cell refractive index and the fundamental models for measurement of cell RI, summarize the published RI data of cell and cell organelles and discuss the associated insights. Illustrative applications of cell RI in cell biology are also outlined. Finally, future research trends and applications of cell RI, including novel imaging techniques, reshaping flow cytometry and microfluidic platforms for single cell manipulation are discussed. The rapid technological advances in optical imaging integrated with microfluidic regime seems to enable deeper understanding of subcellular dynamics with high spatio-temporal resolution in real time. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.