Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is one of the most common malignancies that account for nearly one-third of all pediatric cancers. The current diagnostic assays are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and require expensive reagents. Here, we report a label-free approach featuring diffraction phase imaging and Raman microscopy that can retrieve both morphological and molecular attributes for label-free optical phenotyping of individual B cells. By investigating leukemia cell lines of early and late stages along with the healthy B cells, we show that phase images can capture subtle morphological differences among the healthy, early, and late stages of leukemic cells. By exploiting its biomolecular specificity, we demonstrate that Raman microscopy is capable of accurately identifying not only different stages of leukemia cells but also individual cell lines at each stage. Overall, our study provides a rationale for employing this hybrid modality to screen leukemia cells using the widefield QPI and using Raman microscopy for accurate differentiation of early and late-stage phenotypes. This contrast-free and rapid diagnostic tool exhibits great promise for clinical diagnosis and staging of leukemia in the near future.
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