Laser-ultraviolet-A induced ultra weak photon emission in human skin cells: A biophotonic comparison between keratinocytes and fibroblasts

Indian J Exp Biol. 2008 May;46(5):358-63.


Photons participate in many atomic and molecular interactions and processes. Recent biophysical research has discovered an ultraweak radiation in biological tissues. It is now recognized that plants, animal and human cells emit this very weak biophotonic emission which can be readily measured with a sensitive photomultiplier system. UVA laser induced biophotonic emission of cultured cells was used in this report with the intention to detect biophysical changes between young and adult fibroblasts as well as between fibroblasts and keratinocytes. With suspension densities ranging from 1-8 x 106 cells/ml, it was evident that an increase of the UVA-laser-light induced photon emission intensity could be observed in young as well as adult fibroblastic cells. By the use of this method to determine ultraweak light emission, photons in cell suspensions in low volumes (100 microl) could be detected, in contrast to previous procedures using quantities up to 10 ml. Moreover, the analysis has been further refined by turning off the photomultiplier system electronically during irradiation leading to the first measurements of induced light emission in the cells after less than 10 micros instead of more than 100 milliseconds. These significant changes lead to an improvement factor up to 106 in comparison to classical detection procedures. In addition, different skin cells as fibroblasts and keratinocytes stemming from the same donor were measured using this new highly sensitive method in order to find new biophysical insight of light pathways. This is important in view to develop new strategies in biophotonics especially for use in alternative therapies.

MeSH terms

  • Biophysics / methods*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cryopreservation
  • Equipment Design
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Lasers*
  • Light
  • Photons
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultraviolet Rays*