Localized measurements of physical parameters within human sperm cells obtained with wide-field interferometry

Michal Balberg, Mattan Levi, Ksawery Kalinowski, Itay Barnea, Simcha K. Mirsky, Natan T. Shaked

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We developed a new method to identify the separate cellular compartments in the optical path delay (OPD) maps of un-labeled spermatozoa. This was conducted by comparing OPD maps of fixed, un-labeled spermatozoa to bright field images of the same cells following labeling. The labeling enabled us to identify the acrosomal and nuclear compartments in the corresponding OPD maps of the cells. We then extracted the refractive index maps of fixed cells by dividing the OPD maps of spermatozoa by the corresponding thickness maps of the same cells, obtained with AFM. Finally, the dry mass of the head, nucleus and acrosome of un-labeled immobile spermatozoa, was measured. This method provides the ability to quantitatively measure the dry mass of cellular compartments within human spermatozoa. We expect that these measurements will assist label-free selection of sperm cells for fertilization. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1314
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • digital holography
  • dry mass
  • interferometric phase microscopy
  • sperm morphology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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