Automated statistical quantification of three-dimensional morphology and mean corpuscular hemoglobin of multiple red blood cells

In this paper, we present an automated approach to quantify information about three-dimensional (3D) morphology, hemoglobin content and density of mature red blood cells (RBCs) using off-axis digital holographic microscopy (DHM) and statistical algorithms. The digital hologram of RBCs is recorded by a CCD camera using an off-axis interferometry setup and quantitative phase images of RBCs are obtained by a numerical reconstruction algorithm. In order to remove unnecessary parts and obtain clear targets in the reconstructed phase image with many RBCs, the marker-controlled watershed segmentation algorithm is applied to the phase image. Each RBC in the segmented phase image is three-dimensionally investigated. Characteristic properties such as projected cell surface, average phase, sphericity coefficient, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and MCH surface density of each RBC is quantitatively measured. We experimentally demonstrate that joint statistical distributions of the characteristic parameters of RBCs can be obtained by our algorithm and efficiently used as a feature pattern to discriminate between RBC populations that differ in shape and hemoglobin content. Our study opens the possibility of automated RBC quantitative analysis suitable for the rapid classification of a large number of RBCs from an individual blood specimen, which is a fundamental step to develop a diagnostic approach based on DHM. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America

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Optics Express, 20, -
Optical Society of America

 Record created 2012-06-08, last modified 2018-03-17

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