Measuring cellular structure at submicrometer scale with light scattering spectroscopy

Vadim Backman*, Venkatesh Gopal, Maxim Kalashnikov, Kamran Badizadegan, Rajan Gurjar, Adam Wax, Irene Georgakoudi, Markus Mueller, Charles W. Boone, Ramachandra R. Dasari, Michael S. Feld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


We present a novel instrument for imaging the angular distributions of light backscattered by biological cells and tissues. The intensities in different regions of the image are due to scatterers of different sizes. We exploit this to study scattering from particles smaller than the wavelength of light used, even when they are mixed with larger particles. We show that the scattering from subcellular structure in both normal and cancerous human cells is best fitted to inverse power-law distributions for the sizes of the scattering objects, and propose that the distribution of scattering objects may be different in normal versus cancerous cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-893
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2001


  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Chromatin
  • Fractal
  • Light scattering
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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