Q-PHASE: Quantitative, label-free imaging cytometry

The Q-PHASE is a unique instrument for quantitative phase imaging (QPI) based on patented technology of Coherence-controlled holographic microscopy. The Q-PHASE is purposely designed to observe living cells in vitro.
TESCAN proudly introduces the Q-PHASE, a multimodal holographic microscope (MHM).  With this instrument TESCAN expands into the field of advanced light microscopy. The Q-PHASE is a unique instrument for quantitative phase imaging (QPI) based on patented technology of Coherence-controlled holographic microscopy. This technology uses incoherent light sources (halogen lamp, LED) providing QPI with the highest quality, without any compromises and it is the only QPI technique enabling imaging of samples in scattering media. The Q-PHASE is purposely designed to observe living cells in vitro. It is based on a robust inverted transmission microscope platform. The whole system is situated in a microscope incubator. The full motorization fulfills even the highest demands regarding experiment automation. Furthermore, this system includes multiple imaging modes with fully integrated Fluorescence Module, simulated DIC and brightfield imaging options. All these features make of Q-PHASE a valuable research tool for biological and biotechnical applications such as testing reactions of cells to a specific treatment - even with scattering non-transparent substances, monitoring cell’s life cycle including mitosis, distinguishing between different forms of cell deaths, analyzing cell growth, motility or morphology changes, imaging cells in extracellular matrices.


Key features and advantages

  • ‚‚No image artifacts such as halo effect (as opposed to techniques based on Zernike phase contrast illumination)
  • ‚‚Enables very precise detection of cell boundaries
  • ‚‚Strong suppression of coherent noise (speckles) & parasitic interferences (as opposed to laser-based approaches)
  • ‚‚Label-free – no staining is needed, simple sample preparation, observation of live cells in their native environment, no photobleaching problems
  • Low phototoxicity – low light power density (107× lower than fluorescence microscopy) allows long-term observations (for days)
  • Coherence-gating effect – Q-PHASE special feature enabling to observe samples even in scattering media (phospholipid emulsions, extracellular matrices, etc.)
  • Multimodality – fully integrated fluorescence module, simulated DIC and brightfield which enables automatic multimodal imaging of the sample
  • High-quality QPI – unique Q-PHASE’s optical setup allows using incoherent illumination which provides extraordinary imaging quality without any compromises
  • Lateral resolution of conventional microscopes (up to 2× better when compared to common laser-based approaches or pinhole spatial filtering based techniques)
  • Fast acquisition – the use of off-axis holographic approach makes Q-PHASE a single-shot instrument, thus enabling imaging of very fast cell dynamics
  • Full motorization – focusing, sample stage, objective exchange, fluorescence filters
  • Automated multidimensional acquisition – time-lapse, channel, position, Z-stack
  • Simple image segmentation and processing – comparable to fluorescence data processing
  • Quantitative – phase values can be recalculated e.g. to cell dry-mass density (pg/μm2) or direct topography with nanometer sensitivity (usually non-biological samples with homogeneous refractive index distribution)
  • High phase detection sensitivity – enables to detect even the smallest changes in axial direction, very sensitive detection of morphology or position changes
Q-PHASE: Quantitative, label-free imaging cytometry
Q-PHASE Multimodal Holographic Microscope

Documents for download

Q-PHASE Brochure
Q-PHASE - MULTIMODAL HOLOGRAPHIC MICROSCOPE - Quantitative phase imaging. Download the brochure!
pdf – 891 kB

New look at cell biology: Applications

  • Cell differentiation
  • Cancer cell biology
  • Biocompatibility
  • Drug testing
  • Cell death analysis
  • Cell cycle analysis
  • Plant biology
  • Hydrobiology
  • Cells in 3D environment

Metastatic cancer cell – immune cell interaction (T-cell invading polyploid cancer cell)

Formation of polyploid ovarian cancer cell A2780

Human embryonal stem cells: Colony formation

Diversity of metastatic cancer cells population (PC-3 cells)

Communication of human chondrogenic cells

Sperm cells movement for semen analysis

Intake of apodox and treatment response of human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231

Intercellular communication of human metastatic polyploid prostate cancer cell PC-3

Observation of HEK293 cell population transfected with GFP-Vesicular Stomatis Virus Coat Protein

5 days of human embryonal stem cells (HESC) colony life