We present a real-time multimodal near-infrared imaging technology that tracks externally-induced axial motion of magnetic microbeads in single cells in culture. The integrated multimodal imaging technique consists of phase-sensitive magnetomotive optical coherence microscopy (MM-OCM) and multiphoton microscopy (MPM). MPM is utilized for the visualization of multifunctional fluorescent and magnetic microbeads, while MM-OCM detects, with nanometer-scale sensitivity, periodic displacements of the microbeads induced by the modulation of an external magnetic field. Magnetomotive signals are measured from mouse macrophages, human breast primary ductal carcinoma cells, and human breast epithelial cells in culture, and validated with full-field phase-sensitive microscopy. This methodology demonstrates the capability for imaging controlled cell dynamics and has the potential for measuring cell biomechanical properties, which are important in assessing the health and pathological state of cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6657709
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Cellular biomechanics
  • magnetic tweezers
  • multimodal microscopy
  • multiphoton microscopy (MPM)
  • optical coherence tomography (OCT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'High resolution phase-sensitive magnetomotive optical coherence microscopy for tracking magnetic microbeads and cellular mechanics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this