Spectroscopic optical parameters measured from biological tissue have been used to estimate the size distribution and density of subcellular particles. The calculations are usually performed under an independent scattering assumption, where scattering of a particle ensemble is assumed to be the linear summation of individual particle scattering. We use rigorous numerical solutions of Maxwell’s equations to investigate the validity of this independent scattering assumption and find that interparticle scattering can have significant contributions to the optical parameters of biological tissue. In addition, we find that the reduced scattering coefficient is less affected by multiple scattering compared to the scattering coefficient and thus in general produces better results for the inverse calculation. These observations may be useful in improving the characterization of biological tissues based on their spectroscopic light scattering measurements.
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