Abstract

We demonstrate the feasibility of measuring the particle size distribution (PSD) of internal cell structures in vitro. We use polarized light spectroscopy to probe the internal morphology of mammalian breast cancer (MCF7) and cervical cancer (Siha) cells. We find that graphing the least-squared error versus the scatterer size provides insight into cell scattering. A nonlinear optimization scheme is used to determine the PSD iteratively. The results suggest that 2-μm particles (possibly the mitochondria) contribute most to the scattering. Other subcellular structures, such as the nucleoli and the nucleus, may also contribute significantly. We reconstruct the PSD of the mitochondria, as verified by optical microscopy. We also demonstrate the angle dependence of the PSD.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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