Abstract

Inverse light scattering analysis (ILSA) seeks to associate measured scattering properties with the most probable theoretical scattering distribution, making it a useful tool for assessing structure in biological materials. The accuracy of ILSA depends on the compatibility of the light scattering geometry with the light scattering model. In this study, we compare the accuracy obtained when analyzing light scattering data from spheroids using a numerical implementation of Mie theory, and the T matrix, a numerical method of solving light scattering from spheroids. Our experimental data are acquired using novel optical phantoms containing spheroidal scatterers and angle-resolved low-coherence interferometry, a depth- and angle-resolved light scattering measurement modality. The results show that Mie theory can accurately assess spheroidal structure despite the geometric incompatibility provided measurements are taken in multiple orientations of the sample relative to the incident polarization and the measured scattering angle. In comparison, analysis using the T-matrix method is highly accurate and more reliable yet requires measurements from only a single orientation.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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