OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 32, Iss. 13 — May. 1, 1993
  • pp: 2266–2272

Light scattering by red blood cells in ektacytometry: Fraunhofer versus anomalous diffraction

Geert J. Streekstra, Alfons G. Hoekstra, Evert-Jan Nijhof, and Robert M. Heethaar  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 32, Issue 13, pp. 2266-2272 (1993)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (932 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



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)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. Chien, J. Dormandy, E. Ernst, A. Matrai, Clinical Hemorheology (Nijhoff, Boston, Mass., 1987), Chap. 5, p. 129.
  2. J. H. F. I. van Breugel, “Hemorheology and its role in blood platelet adhesion under flow conditions,” Ph.D. dissertation (State University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1989).
  3. P. F. Mullaney, P. N. Dean, “The small angle light scattering of biological cells,” Biophys. J. 10, 764–772 (1970). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. W. Groner, N. Mohandas, M. Bessis, “New optical technique for measuring erythrocyte deformability with the ektacytometer,” Clin. Chem. 26, 1435–1442 (1980). [PubMed]
  5. P. Latimer, “Light scattering by ellipsoids,” J. Colloid Interface Sci. 53, 102–109 (1975). [CrossRef]
  6. P. Latimer, P. Barber, “Scattering by ellipsoids of revolution,” J. Colloid Interface Sci. 63, 310–316 (1978). [CrossRef]
  7. H. C. van de Hulst, Light Scattering by Small Particles (Wiley, New York, 1957), Chap. 11, p. 183.
  8. S. R. Keller, R. Skalak, “Motion of a tank-treading ellipsoidal particle in a shear flow,” J. Fluid Mech. 120, 27–47 (1982). [CrossRef]
  9. M. Bessis, N. Mohandas, “A diffractometric method for the measurement of cellular deformability,” Blood Cells 1, 307–313 (1975).
  10. N. Mohandas, M. R. Clark, M. S. Jacobs, S. B. Shohet, “Analysis of factors regulating erythrocyte deformability,” J. Clin. Invest. 66, 563–573 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. M. R. Hardeman, P. Goedhart, D. Breederveld, “Laser diffraction ellipsometry of erythrocytes under controlled shear stress using a rotational viscosimeter,” Clin. Chim. Acta 165, 227–234 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. T. Fischer, H. Schmidt-Schönbein, “Tank tread motion of red cell membranes in viscometric flow: behavior of intracellular and extracellular markers (with film),” Blood Cells 3, 351–365 (1977).
  13. P. M. A. Sloot, A. G. Hoekstra, H. v. d. Liet, C. G. Figdor, “Scattering matrix elements of biological particles measured in a flow through system: theory and practice,” Appl. Opt. 28, 1752–1762 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. C. F. Bohren, D. R. Huffman, Absorption and Scattering of Light by Small Particles (Wiley, New York, 1957), App. A, p. 479.
  15. Y. C. Fung, Biomechanics, 2nd ed. (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1984), Chap. 4, p. 106.
  16. L. Reynolds, C. Johnson, A. Ishimaru, “Diffuse reflectance from a finite blood medium: applications to the modeling of fiber optic catheters,” Appl. Opt. 15, 2059–2067 (1976). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. G. R. Cokelet, H. J. Meiselman, “Rheological comparison of hemoglobin solutions and erythrocyte suspensions,” Science 162, 275–277 (1968). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. J. Plazek, T. Marik, “Determination of undeformable erythrocytes in blood samples using laser light scattering,” Appl. Opt. 21, 4335–4338 (1982). [CrossRef]
  19. F. Storzicky, V. Blazek, J. Muzik, “An improved diffractometric method for measurement of cellular deformability,” J. Biomech. 13, 417–421 (1980). [CrossRef]
  20. P. Barber, C. Yeh, “Scattering of electromagnetic waves by arbitrarily shaped dielectric bodies,” Appl. Opt. 14, 2864–2872 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. R. Tran-Son-Tay, S. P. Sutera, P. R. Rao, “Determination of red blood cell membrane viscosity from rheoscopic observations of tank-treading motion,” Biophys. J. 46, 65–72 (1984). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. R. Tran-Son-Tay, S. P. Sutera, G. I. Zahalak, P. R. Rao, “Membrane stress and internal pressure in a red blood cell freely suspended in a shear flow,” Biophys. J. 51, 915–924 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. S. P. Sutera, P. R. Pierre, G. I. Zahalak, “Deduction of intrinsic mechanical properties of the erythrocyte membrane from observations of tank-treading in the rheoscope,” Biorheology 26, 177–197 (1989). [PubMed]
  24. C. Allard, N. Mohandas, M. Bessis, “Red cell deformability changes in hemolytic anemias estimated by diffractometric methods (ektacytometry),” Blood Cells 3, 209–221 (1977).
  25. M. Bessis, N. Mohandas, “Laser diffraction patterns of sickle cells in fluid shear fields,” Blood Cells 3, 229–239 (1977).
  26. G. J. Streekstra, E.-J. Nijhof, R. M. Heethaar, “A bi-plane rheoscope: a new approach in optical determination of red blood cell orientation and deformation in a Couette flow,” in Proceedings of the North Sea Conference on Biomedical Engineering, J. Cornelis, S. Peters, eds. (International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering, Antwerp, 1990).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited