In the present literature on ektacytometry, small angle light scattering by ellipsoidal red blood cells is commonly approximated by Fraunhofer diffraction. Calculations on a sphere with the size and relative refractive index of a red cell, however, show that Fraunhofer diffraction deviates significantly from exact Mie theory. Anomalous diffraction is found to be a much better approximation. The anomalous diffraction theory is used to calculate the intensity distribution of the light scattered by an ellipsoidally deformed red blood cell. The derived expression shows that the ellipticity of isointensity curves in forward scattered light are equal to the ellipticity of the red blood cell. The theoretical expression is fitted to the intensity patterns measured with an ektacytometer. For the small observation angles used in ektacytometry, the experimental results confirm the validity of the anomalous diffraction approach.
© 1993 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 18, 1991
Published: May 1, 1993
Geert J. Streekstra, Alfons G. Hoekstra, Evert-Jan Nijhof, and Robert M. Heethaar, "Light scattering by red blood cells in ektacytometry: Fraunhofer versus anomalous diffraction," Appl. Opt. 32, 2266-2272 (1993)