Stokes-Mueller polarization-based analysis of model SARS-CoV-2 virions

Spandana K U, Bhagesh Basavraj Hunakunti, Aymeric Le Gratiet, Ankur Gogoi, Nirmal Mazumder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the virology of the coronavirus at the structural level has gained utmost importance to overcome the constant and long-term health complications induced by them. In this work, the light scattering properties of SARS-CoV-2 of size 140 nm were simulated by using discrete dipole approximation (DDA) for two incident wavelengths 200 nm and 350 nm, respectively. Three different 3-dimensional (3D) models of SARS-CoV-2 corresponding to 15, 20, and 40 numbers of spike proteins on the viral capsid surface were constructed as target geometries for the DDA calculations. These models were assessed by employing Stokes-Mueller polarimetry to obtain individual polarization properties such as degree of polarization (DOP), degree of linear polarization (DOLP), and degree of circular polarization (DOCP). Irrespective of its spike numbers, all the coronavirus models were found to display higher DOP and DOCP values and negligibly small DOLP values for circularly polarized incident light, indicating the presence of chiral structures. On the other hand, the lack of understanding about the dependence of the Mueller matrix on its microstructural properties was overcome by transforming 16 Mueller elements into sub-matrices with specific structural and physical properties using Lu-Chipman-based Mueller matrix polar decomposition method. The obtained properties such as retardance, diattenuation, and depolarization were used for investigating the composition and microstructural information. The approach presented in this work has the potential to understand the virology of the coronavirus at the structural level and, therefore, will be beneficial in developing effective detection strategies by exploiting their characteristic electromagnetic scattering signatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
Pages (from-to)35
Number of pages1
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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