Theoretical analysis of novel quasi-3D microscopy of cell deformation

Jun Qiu, Andrew D. Baik, X. Lucas Lu, Elizabeth M.C. Hillman, Zhuo Zhuang, Cheng Dong, X. Edward Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A novel quasi-three-dimensional (quasi-3D) microscopy technique has been developed to enable visualization of a cell under dynamic loading in two orthogonal planes simultaneously. The three-dimensional (3D) dynamics of the mechanical behavior of a cell under fluid flow can be examined at a high temporal resolution. In this study, a numerical model of a fluorescently dyed cell was created in 3D space, and the cell was subjected to uniaxial deformation or unidirectional fluid shear flow via finite element analysis. Therefore, the intracellular deformation in the simulated cells was exactly prescribed. Two-dimensional fluorescent images simulating the quasi-3D technique were created from the cell and its deformed states in 3D space using a point-spread function (PSF) and a convolution operation. These simulated original and deformed images were processed by a digital image correlation technique to calculate quasi-3D-based intracellular strains. The calculated strains were compared to the prescribed strains, thus providing a theoretical basis for the measurement of the accuracy of quasi-3D and wide-field microscopy-based intracellular strain measurements against the true 3D strains. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the simulated quasi-3D images was also modulated using additive Gaussian noise, and a minimum SNR of 12 was needed to recover the prescribed strains using digital image correlation. Our computational study demonstrated that quasi-3D strain measurements closely recovered the true 3D strains in uniform and fluid flow cellular strain states to within 5% strain error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalCellular and Molecular Bioengineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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