Assessing the contribution of cell body and intracellular organelles to the backward light scattering

Maxim Kalashnikov, Wonshik Choi, Martin Hunter, Chung Chieh Yu, Ramachandra R. Dasari, Michael S. Feld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We report a method of assessing the contribution of whole cell body and its nucleus to the clinically most relevant backward light scattering. We first construct an experimental system that can measure forward scattering and use the system to precisely extract the optical properties of a specimen such as the refractive index contrast, size distribution, and their density. A system that can simultaneously detect the backscattered light is installed to collect the backscattering for the same specimen. By comparing the measured backscattering spectrum with that estimated from the parameters determined by the forward scattering experiment, the contribution of cell body and nucleus to the backward light scattering is quantitatively assessed. For the HeLa cells in suspension, we found that the cell body contributes less than 10% and cell nucleus on the order of 0.1% to the total backscattering signal. Quantitative determination of the origin of backscattered light may help design a system that aims for detecting particular structure of biological tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-826
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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