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August 19th, 2008
A new 3D computational approach constructs realistic optical phase contrast microscope images of gold nanoparticles in biological cells.
Biomedical optics researchers need optical simulation tools to acquire a deeper understanding of the interactions between light and tissues. The challenges associated with the modeling of light scattering from single cells come from two major factors. First, the wavelength of light is comparable to the size of the scattering sub-cellular structures. Second, biological cells have irregular shapes and arbitrarily distributed refractive indices, which makes it impossible to use analytical modeling approaches. Both factors necessitate the use of numerical simulation methods based on rigorous electromagnetic theory. These include: the method of separation of variables, the finite element method, the method of lines, the point matching method, the method of moments, the discrete dipole approximation method, the null-field (extended boundary condition) method, the T-matrix electromagnetic scattering approach, the surface Green's function electromagnetic scattering approach, and the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method.
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