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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Refractometry of melanocyte cell nuclei using optical scatter images recorded by digital Fourier microscopy
Author(s): Katrina Y. T. Seet; Timo A. Nieminen; Andrei Zyvagin
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Paper Abstract

The cell nucleus is the dominant optical scatterer in the cell. Neoplastic cells are characterized by cell nucleus polymorphism and polychromism-i.e., the nuclei exhibits an increase in the distribution of both size and refractive index. The relative size parameter, and its distribution, is proportional to the product of the nucleus size and its relative refractive index and is a useful discriminant between normal and abnormal (cancerous) cells. We demonstrate a recently introduced holographic technique, digital Fourier microscopy (DFM), to provide a sensitive measure of this relative size parameter. Fourier holograms were recorded and optical scatter of individual scatterers were extracted and modeled with Mie theory to determine the relative size parameter. The relative size parameter of individual melanocyte cell nuclei were found to be 16.5±0.2, which gives a cell nucleus refractive index of 1.38±0.01 and is in good agreement with previously reported data. The relative size parameters of individual malignant melanocyte cell nuclei are expected to be greater than 16.5.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2009
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 14(4) 044031 doi: 10.1117/1.3207141
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 14, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Katrina Y. T. Seet, The Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Timo A. Nieminen, The Univ. of Queensland (Australia)
Andrei Zyvagin, The Univ. of Queensland (Australia)


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