Static and dynamic light scattering by red blood cells: A numerical study

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Abstract

Light scattering is a well-established experimental technique, which gains more and more popularity in the biological field because it offers the means for non-invasive imaging and detection. However, the interpretation of light-scattering signals remains challenging due to the complexity of most biological systems. Here, we investigate static and dynamic scattering properties of red blood cells (RBCs) using two mesoscopic hydrodynamics simulation methodsmulti-particle collision dynamics and dissipative particle dynamics. Light scattering is studied for various membrane shear elasticities, bending rigidities, and RBC shapes (e.g., biconcave and stomatocyte). Simulation results from the two simulation methods show good agreement, and demonstrate that the static light scattering of a diffusing RBC is not very sensitive to the changes in membrane properties and moderate alterations in cell shapes. We also compute dynamic light scattering of a diffusing RBC, from which dynamic properties of RBCs such as diffusion coefficients can be accessed. In contrast to static light scattering, the dynamic measurements can be employed to differentiate between the biconcave and stomatocytic RBC shapes and generally allow the differentiation based on the membrane properties. Our simulation results can be used for better understanding of light scattering by RBCs and the development of new non-invasive methods for blood-flow monitoring.

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Mauer, J., Peltomaki, M., Poblete, S., Gompper, G., & Fedosov, D. A. (2017). Static and dynamic light scattering by red blood cells: A numerical study. PLoS ONE, 12(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0176799

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