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Keywords:

  • digital holography;
  • marine biology;
  • diatoms;
  • microscopy

Abstract

Diatoms are among the dominant phytoplankters in the world's oceans, and their external silica investments, resembling artificial photonic crystals, are expected to play an active role in light manipulation. Digital holography allowed studying the interaction with light of Coscinodiscus wailesii cell wall reconstructing the light confinement inside the cell cytoplasm, condition that is hardly accessible via standard microscopy. The full characterization of the propagated beam, in terms of quantitative phase and intensity, removed a long-standing ambiguity about the origin of the light confinement. The data were discussed in the light of living cell behavior in response to their environment. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)