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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

On the birefringence of healthy and malaria-infected red blood cells
Author(s): Aditya K. Dharmadhikari; Himanish Basu; Jayashree A. Dharmadhikari; Shobhona Sharma; Deepak Mathur

Paper Abstract

The birefringence of a red blood cell (RBC) is quantitatively monitored as it becomes infected by a malarial parasite. Large changes occur in the cell’s refractive index at different stages of malarial infection. The observed rotation of an optically trapped, malaria-infected RBC is not a simple function of shape distortion: the malarial parasite is found to itself exercise a profound influence on the rotational dynamics by inducing stage-specific birefringence. Our measurements shed new light on the competition between shape- and form-birefringence in RBCs. We demonstrate the possibility of using birefringence to establish very early stages of infected parasites and of assessing various factors that contribute to birefringence in normal and infected cells. Our results have implications for the development and use of noninvasive techniques of quantifying changes in cell properties induced by malaria disease pathology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 December 2013
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 18(12) 125001 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.12.125001
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 18, Issue 12
Show Author Affiliations
Aditya K. Dharmadhikari, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India)
Himanish Basu, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India)
Jayashree A. Dharmadhikari, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India)
Shobhona Sharma, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India)
Deepak Mathur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India)

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