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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 2007
  • pp: 4834–4842

Assessment of the relative contribution of cellular components to the acetowhitening effect in cell cultures and suspensions using elastic light-scattering spectroscopy

Tao T. Wu and Jianan Y. Qu  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 21, pp. 4834-4842 (2007)

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We aim to investigate the mechanism of acetowhitening upon which the colposcopic diagnosis of cervical cancer is based. The changes in light scattering induced by acetic acid in intact cervical cancer cells and cellular components were studied using elastic light-scattering spectroscopy. After adding acetic acid to intact cancer cell culture samples (cell suspensions and attached monolayer cell cultures), a slight decrease in small-angle forward scattering was observed, while the large-angle scattering increased by a factor of 5–9, indicating that acetowhitening signals are mainly contributed from small-sized intracellular scattering structures. The cellular components of different sizes and masses were isolated to investigate their individual contribution to the changes of light scattering induced by acetic acid. The study provided the evidence that the cellular components of diameter smaller than 0.2   μm in the cytoplasm are the major contributors to the acetowhitening effect in whole cells, while the light scattering from the mitochondria are not sensitive to the acetic acid.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(160.4760) Materials : Optical properties
(170.4580) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical diagnostics for medicine
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: October 6, 2006
Revised Manuscript: February 15, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: March 8, 2007
Published: July 6, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 2, Iss. 8 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Tao T. Wu and Jianan Y. Qu, "Assessment of the relative contribution of cellular components to the acetowhitening effect in cell cultures and suspensions using elastic light-scattering spectroscopy," Appl. Opt. 46, 4834-4842 (2007)

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