Quantitative Orientation-Independent Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) Microscopy Coupled with Orientation-Independent Polarization Microscopy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy is widely used to observe structure and motion in unstained, transparent living cells and isolated organelles, producing a monochromatic shadowcast image of optical phase gradient. Polarized light microscopy (Pol) reveals structural anisotropy due to form birefringence, intrinsic birefringence, stress birefringence, etc. DIC and Pol complement each other as, for example, in a live dividing cell, the DIC image will clearly show the chromosomes while the Pol image will depict the distribution of the birefringent microtubules in the spindle. Both methods, however, have the same shortcomings: they require the proper orientation of a specimen in relation to the optical system in order to achieve best results.

publication date

  • August 2007