Polychromatic spectral pattern analysis of ultra-weak photon emissions from a human body

J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Jun;159:186-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2016.03.037. Epub 2016 Apr 7.


Ultra-weak photon emission (UPE), often designated as biophoton emission, is generally observed in a wide range of living organisms, including human beings. This phenomenon is closely associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during normal metabolic processes and pathological states induced by oxidative stress. Application of UPE extracting the pathophysiological information has long been anticipated because of its potential non-invasiveness, facilitating its diagnostic use. Nevertheless, its weak intensity and UPE mechanism complexity hinder its use for practical applications. Spectroscopy is crucially important for UPE analysis. However, filter-type spectroscopy technique, used as a conventional method for UPE analysis, intrinsically limits its performance because of its monochromatic scheme. To overcome the shortcomings of conventional methods, the authors developed a polychromatic spectroscopy system for UPE spectral pattern analysis. It is based on a highly efficient lens systems and a transmission-type diffraction grating with a highly sensitive, cooled, charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera. Spectral pattern analysis of the human body was done for a fingertip using the developed system. The UPE spectrum covers the spectral range of 450-750nm, with a dominant emission region of 570-670nm. The primary peak is located in the 600-650nm region. Furthermore, application of UPE source exploration was demonstrated with the chemiluminescence spectrum of melanin and coexistence with oxidized linoleic acid.

Keywords: Biophoton; CCD; Chemiluminescence; Melanin; Oxidative stress; Polychrometer; Reactive oxygen species; Skin; Spectroscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Photons*