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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 382641, 11 pages
Review Article

Characterization of Red Blood Cells with Multiwavelength Transmission Spectroscopy

Claro Scientific, LLC., 10100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N., St. Petersburg, FL 33716, USA

Received 17 June 2014; Accepted 15 November 2014

Academic Editor: Salah Aref

Copyright © 2015 Yulia M. Serebrennikova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Multiwavelength transmission (MWT) spectroscopy was applied to the investigation of the morphological parameters and composition of red blood cells (RBCs). The MWT spectra were quantitatively analyzed with a Mie theory based interpretation model modified to incorporate the effects of the nonsphericity and orientation of RBCs. The MWT spectra of the healthy and anemic samples were investigated for the RBC indices in open and blinded studies. When MWT performance was evaluated against a standard reference system, very good agreement between two methods, with for all indices studied, was demonstrated. The RBC morphological parameters were used to characterize three types of anemia and to draw an association between RBC morphology and anemia severity. The MWT spectra of RBCs infected with malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum at different life cycle stages were analyzed for RBC morphological parameters. The changes in the RBC volume, surface area, aspect ratio, and hemoglobin composition were used to trace the morphological and compositional alterations in the infected RBCs occurring with parasites’ development and to provide insights into parasite-host interactions. The MWT method was shown to be reliable for determination of the RBC morphological parameters and to be valuable for identification of the RBC pathologic changes and disease states.