Propagation of THz irradiation energy through aqueous layers: Demolition of actin filaments in living cells

Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 2;10(1):9008. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65955-5.


The effect of terahertz (THz) radiation on deep tissues of human body has been considered negligible due to strong absorption by water molecules. However, we observed that the energy of THz pulses transmits a millimeter thick in the aqueous solution, possibly as a shockwave, and demolishes actin filaments. Collapse of actin filament induced by THz irradiation was also observed in the living cells under an aqueous medium. We also confirmed that the viability of the cell was not affected under the exposure of THz pulses. The potential of THz waves as an invasive method to alter protein structure in the living cells is demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / radiation effects*
  • Energy Transfer
  • HeLa Cells / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Polymerization / radiation effects
  • Solutions / radiation effects
  • Terahertz Radiation* / adverse effects
  • Water


  • Solutions
  • Water