Potential biological effects of terahertz radiation studied by researchers

Sept. 13, 2011
Los Alamos, NM--A team of researchers led by Los Alamos National Laboratory has evaluated the cellular response of mouse stem cells exposed to terahertz (THz) radiation. Low-power radiation was applied from a pulsed broadband source and from a CW CO2 laser source.

Los Alamos, NM--A team of researchers led by Los Alamos National Laboratory has evaluated the cellular response of mouse stem cells exposed to terahertz (THz) radiation. Low-power radiation was applied from a pulsed broadband (centered at 10 THz) source and from a CW CO2 laser (2.52 THz) source. The researchers determined that temperature increases were minimal, and that heat shock protein expression was unaffected--while the expression of certain other genes showed clear effects of the THz irradiation.

Terahertz technologies are increasingly finding applications in medicine, military, security, and research, including cancer detection, airport security, shipment inspection, and spectroscopy. However, relatively little is known about the effect of THz radiation on biological systems. Earlier studies are referenced in the journal article and in the THz-BRIDGE project, pulished in 2004.

The researchers work is described in the September issue of the open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express, published by the Optical Society of America. The findings indicate that mouse mesenchymal stem cells exposed to THz radiation exhibit specific changes in cellular function closely related to the gene expression. Further investigations involving a large number of genes and variation in THz radiation characteristics and exposure duration are needed to generalize their findings. They also say that more direct experimental investigations of THz radiation’s ability to induce specific openings of the DNA double strand are needed to fully determine how THz radiation may work through DNA dynamics to influence cellular function.

The team led by Los Alamos National Lab worked in collaboration with the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences user facility at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, and with Harvard Medical School, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

SOURCE: Biomedical Optics Express, “Non-thermal effects of terahertz radiation on gene expression in mouse stem cells http://www.opticsinfobase.org/boe/abstract.cfm?URI=boe-2-9-2679

Posted by: Conard Holton

Subscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; It’s free!

Follow us on Twitter

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Motion Scan and Data Collection Methods for Electro-Optic System Testing

April 10, 2024
Learn how different scanning patterns and approaches can be used in measuring an electro-optic sensor performance, by reading our whitepaper here!

How Precision Motion Systems are Shaping the Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing

March 28, 2024
This article highlights the pivotal role precision motion systems play in supporting the latest semiconductor manufacturing trends.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!