Abstract

The scattering of He–Ne laser light by an average-sized human red blood cell (RBC) is investigated numerically. The RBC is modeled as an axisymmetric, low-contrast dielectric, biconcave disk. The interaction problem is treated numerically by means of a boundary-element methodology. The differential scattering cross sections (DSCS’s) corresponding to various cell orientations are calculated. The numerical results obtained for the exact RBC geometry are compared with those corresponding to a scattering problem in which the cell is assumed to be either a volume-equivalent sphere or an oblate spheroid. A parametric study demonstrating the dependence of the DSCS on the wavelength of the incident wave and the cell’s refractive index is presented.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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