This method for white blood cell analysis distinguishes between blood cell types by using side scatter. It illuminates a blood sample from multiple angles and analyzes the light interaction with each cell. When light interacts with a cell, the deflection angle can be used to measure the internal features of a cell. The reflected light from white blood cells is directionally dependent (anisotropic) while the reflected light from white blood cells in uniform in all orientations (isotropic). This technology can be added to an image-based cytometer or hematology analyzer that uses high or low resolution microscopy.
This technology is not limited to distinguishing white blood cells from red blood cells. These directional scatter techniques could be useful for better identifying a number of cell and sample types, such as circulating tumor cells, epithelial cells, and cancer stem cells.