Abstract

Light scattering techniques (including depolarization experiments) applied to biological cells provide a fast nondestructive probe that is very sensitive to small morphological differences. Until now quantitative measurement of these scatter phenomena were only described for particles in suspension. In this paper we discuss the symmetry conditions applicable to the scattering matrices of monodisperse biological cells in a flow cytometer and provide evidence that quantitative measurement of the elements of these scattering matrices is possible in flow through systems. Two fundamental extensions to the theoretical description of conventional scattering experiments are introduced: large cone integration of scattering signals and simultaneous implementation of the localization principle to account for scattering by a sharply focused laser beam. In addition, a specific calibration technique is proposed to account for depolarization effects of the highly specialized optics applied in flow through equipment.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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