We employ a novel optical technique, dynamic scattering microscopy (DSM), to extract the frequency dependence of the viscoelastic modulus associated with the red blood cell membrane. This approach applies the principle of dynamic light scattering to micro beads attached to the red blood cell membrane in thermal fluctuation. This allows for high-throughput characterization of a large number of cells simultaneously, which represents a significant advantage over current methods. The results in terms of the effective loss and storage moduli indicate the generic behavior of a viscoelastic material, characterized by power laws with exponents between 0 and 1. (c) 2007 Optical Society of America.