Characterizing chromatin packing scaling in whole nuclei using interferometric microscopy

Aya Eid, Adam Eshein, Yue Li, Ranya Virk, David van Derway, Di Zhang, Allen Taflove, Vadim Backman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Chromatin is the macromolecular assembly containing the cell’s genetic information, and its architectural conformation facilitates accessibility to activation sites and thus gene expression. We have developed an analytical framework to quantify chromatin structure with spectral microscopy. Chromatin structure can be described as a mass fractal, with packing scaling D up to specific genomic length scales. Considering various system geometries, we established a model to measure D with the interferometric technique partial wave spectroscopy (PWS) and validated the analysis using finite difference time domain to simulate the PWS system. Calculations of D were consistent with ground truth electron microscopy measurements, enabling a high-throughput, label-free approach to quantifying chromatin structure in the nanometer length scale regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4810-4813
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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