Imaging the effect of hemoglobin on properties of RBCs using common-path digital holographic microscope
Adequate supply of oxygen to the body is the most essential requirement. In vertebrate species this function is performed by Hemoglobin contained in red blood cells. The mass concentration of the Hb determines the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Thus it becomes necessary to determine its concentration in the blood, which helps in monitoring the health of a person. If the amount of Hb crosses certain range, then it is considered critical. As the Hb constitutes upto 96% of red blood cells dry content, it would be interesting to examine various physical and mechanical parameters of RBCs which depends upon its concentration. Various diseases bring about significant variation in the amount of hemoglobin which may alter certain parameters of the RBC such as surface area, volume, membrane fluctuation etc. The study of the variations of these parameters may be helpful in determining Hb content which will reflect the state of health of a human body leading to disease diagnosis. Any increase or decrease in the amount of Hb will change the density and hence the optical thickness of the RBCs, which affects the cell membrane and thereby changing its mechanical and physical properties. Here we describe the use of lateral shearing digital holographic microscope for quantifying the cell parameters for studying the change in biophysical properties of cells due to variation in hemoglobin concentration.