Optical scattering provides an intrinsic contrast mechanism for the diagnosis of early precancerous changes in tissues. There have been a multitude of numerical studies targeted at delineating the relationship between cancer-related alterations in morphology and internal structure of cells and the resulting changes in their optical scattering properties. Despite these efforts, we still need to further our understanding of inherent scattering signatures that can be linked to precancer progression. As such, computational studies aimed at relating electromagnetic wave interactions to cellular and subcellular structural alterations are likely to provide a quantitative framework for a better assessment of the diagnostic content of optical signals. In this study, we aim to determine the influence of structural length-scale variations on two-dimensional light scattering properties of cells. We numerically construct cell models with different lower bounds on the size of refractive index heterogeneities and we employ the finite-difference time-domain method to compute their azimuth-resolved light scattering patterns. The results indicate that changes in length-scale variations can significantly alter the two-dimensional scattering patterns of cell models. More specifically, the degree of azimuthal asymmetry characterizing these patterns is observed to be highly dependent on the range of length-scale variations. Overall, the study described here is expected to offer useful insights into whether azimuth-resolved measurements can be explored for diagnostic purposes.
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