Dysplastic progression is known to be associated with changes in morphology and internal structure of cells. A detailed
assessment of the influence of these changes on cellular scattering response is needed to develop and optimize optical
diagnostic techniques. In this study, we first analyzed a set of quantitative histopathologic images from cervical biopsies
and we obtained detailed information on morphometric and photometric features of segmented epithelial cell nuclei.
Morphometric parameters included average size and eccentricity of the best-fit ellipse. Photometric parameters included
optical density measures that can be related to dielectric properties and texture characteristics of the nuclei. These
features enabled us to construct realistic three-dimensional computational models of basal, parabasal, intermediate, and
superficial cell nuclei that were representative of four diagnostic categories, namely normal (or negative for dysplasia),
mild dysplasia, moderate dysplasia, and severe dysplasia or carcinoma in situ. We then employed the finite-difference
time-domain method, a popular numerical tool in electromagnetics, to compute the angle-resolved light scattering
properties of these representative models. Results indicated that a high degree of variability can characterize a given
diagnostic category, but scattering from moderately and severely dysplastic or cancerous nuclei was generally observed
to be stronger compared to scattering from normal and mildly dysplastic nuclei. Simulation results also pointed to
significant intensity level variations among different epithelial depths. This suggests that intensity changes associated
with dysplastic progression need to be analyzed in a depth-dependent manner.