Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Myung K. Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Donald Hilbelink, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dennis Killinger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chun-Min Lo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Garrett Matthews, Ph.D.


Near-Field, Evanescent, Digital Holography, Membrane, Psuedopod, Motility


Total Internal Reflection Holographic Microscopy (TIRHM) combines near-field microscopy with digital holography to produce a new form of near-field phase microscopy. Using a prism in TIR as a near-field imager, the presence of microscopic organisms, cell-substrate interfaces, and adhesions, causes relative refractive index (RRI) and frustrated TIR (f-TIR) to modulate the object beam's evanescent wave phase front. Quantitative phase images of test specimens such as Amoeba proteus, Dictyostelium Discoideum and cells such as SKOV-3 ovarian cancer and 3T3 fibroblasts are produced without the need to introduce stains or fluorophores. The angular spectrum method of digital holography to compensate for tilt anamorphism due to the inclined TIR plane is also discussed.

The results of this work conclusively demonstrate, for the first time, the integration of near-field microscopy with digital holography. The cellular images presented show a correlation between the physical extent of the Amoeba proteus plasma membrane and the adhesions that are quantitatively profiled by phase cross-sectioning of the holographic images obtained by digital holography. With its ability to quantitatively characterise cellular adhesion and motility, it is anticipated that TIRHM can be a tool for characterizing and combating cancer metastasis, as well as improving our understanding of morphogenesis and embryogenesis itself.