Quantitative phase imaging for medical diagnosis

Hassaan Majeed, Shamira Sridharan, Mustafa Mir, Lihong Ma, Eunjung Min, Woonggyu Jung, Gabriel Popescu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Optical microscopy is an indispensable diagnostic tool in modern healthcare. As a prime example, pathologists rely exclusively on light microscopy to investigate tissue morphology in order to make a diagnosis. While advances in light microscopy and contrast markers allow pathologists to visualize cells and tissues in unprecedented detail, the interpretation of these images remains largely subjective, leading to inter- and intra-observer discrepancy. Furthermore, conventional microscopy images capture qualitative information which makes it difficult to automate the process, reducing the throughput achievable in the diagnostic workflow. Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) techniques have been advanced in recent years to address these two challenges. By quantifying physical parameters of cells and tissues, these systems remove subjectivity from the disease diagnosis process and allow for easier automation to increase throughput. In addition to providing quantitative information, QPI systems are also label-free and can be easily assimilated into the current diagnostic workflow in the clinic. In this paper we review the advances made in disease diagnosis by QPI techniques. We focus on the areas of hematological diagnosis and cancer pathology, which are the areas where most significant advances have been made to date. (Figure presented.) [Image adapted from Y. Park, M. Diez-Silva, G. Popescu, G. Lykotrafitis, W. Choi, M. S. Feld, and S. Suresh, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 105, 13730–13735 (2008).].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-205
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • cancer diagnosis
  • hematological disorders
  • interferometry
  • label free imaging
  • microscopy
  • pathology
  • quantitative phase imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative phase imaging for medical diagnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this