Cell death detection by quantitative three-dimensional single-cell tomography
Ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (UR-OCT) has been used for the first time to our knowledge to study single-cell basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in vitro. This noninvasive, in situ, label-free technique with deep imaging depth enables three-dimensional analysis of scattering properties of single cells with cellular spatial resolution. From three-dimensional UR-OCT imaging, live and dead BCC cells can be easily identified based on morphological observation. We developed a novel method to automatically extract characteristic parameters of a single cell from data volume, and quantitative comparison and parametric analysis were performed. The results demonstrate the capability of UR-OCT to detect cell death at the cellular level.