We show an approach exploiting the capability of optical tweezers to trap and put in rotation bovine spermatozoa flowing into a microfluidic channel. At same time, digital holographic microscopy allows to image the cell in phase-contrast modality for each different angular position, during the rotation. From the collected information about the cell’s phase-contrast signature, it is possible to reconstruct the 3D shape of the cell and estimate its volume. The method can open new pathways for rapid measurement of in-vitro cells volume in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip platform, thus having access to the 3D structure of the object avoiding tomographic microscopy.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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