OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2000
  • pp: 183–192

Photon statistics and correlation analysis of ultraweak light originating from living organisms for extraction of biological information

Masaki Kobayashi and Humio Inaba  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 1, pp. 183-192 (2000)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (195 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Ultraweak photon emission phenomena in the visible to near-IR region, originating from biological organisms, are known. This biophoton emission is generated during metabolic processes and constitutes physiological information. We investigated a technique for characterizing the optical radiation field based on photon statistics and correlation analysis to extract information on regulation processes in biochemical reactions and their interactions. We developed the system based on the time-interval measurement of photoelectrons in a photon-counting region and employed data processing with a nonstationary optical field with correction for the correlative properties of the photomultiplier dark current. We analyzed biophoton emission from cellular slime mold (Dictyosterium discoideum) and observed the characteristic variation of this organism’s super-Poisson statistics during the developmental process.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5260) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon counting
(030.5290) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon statistics
(040.5250) Detectors : Photomultipliers
(170.1420) Medical optics and biotechnology : Biology
(260.1560) Physical optics : Chemiluminescence

Original Manuscript: March 19, 1999
Revised Manuscript: August 23, 1999
Published: January 1, 2000

Masaki Kobayashi and Humio Inaba, "Photon statistics and correlation analysis of ultraweak light originating from living organisms for extraction of biological information," Appl. Opt. 39, 183-192 (2000)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. For example, M. C. Teich, B. E. A. Saleh, “Photon bunching and antibunching,” in Progress in Optics, Vol. 26, E. Wolf, ed. (Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, 1988), pp. 1–104. [CrossRef]
  2. M. C. Teich, B. E. A. Saleh, “Observation of sub-Poisson Franck-Hertz light at 253.7 nm,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 2, 275–282 (1985). [CrossRef]
  3. *****For example, Special issue on biophoton, F.-A. Pop, ed., Experientia44, 543–600 (1988).
  4. H. Inaba, “New bio-information from ultraweak photon emission in life and biological activities: biophoton,” in Modern Radio Science 1990, J. B. Andersen, ed. (Oxford University, Oxford, 1990), p. 163 and references therein.
  5. E. Cadenas, A. Boveris, B. Chance, “Low-level chemiluminescence of biological systems,” in Free Radicals in Biology, Vol. 6, W. A. Pryor, ed. (Academic, Orlando, Fla., 1984), pp. 211–242.
  6. G. Matsumoto, H. Shimizu, J. Shimada, “Computer-based photoelectron counting system,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 47, 861–865 (1976). [CrossRef]
  7. M. Kobayashi, B. Devaraj, H. Inaba, “Observation of super-Poisson statistics of bacterial (Photobacterium phosphoreum) bioluminescence during the early stage of cell proliferation,” Phys. Rev. E 57, 2129–2133 (1998). [CrossRef]
  8. P. B. Coates, “Noise sources in the C31000D photomultiplier,” J. Phys. E 4, 201–207 (1971). [CrossRef]
  9. A. T. Young, “Photometric error analysis. IX: Optimum use of photomultipliers,” Appl. Opt. 8, 2431–2447 (1969). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. R. W. Engstrom, Photomultiplier Handbook (RCA Corporation, Lancaster, Pa., 1980).
  11. R. L. Jerde, L. E. Peterson, “Effects of high energy radiations on noise pulses from photomultiplier tubes,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 38, 1387–1394 (1967). [CrossRef]
  12. S. Osuga, “Luminescence phenomenon on photomultiplier tube,” Kogaku 22, 410–411 (1993) (in Japanese).
  13. F. T. Arecchi, E. Gatti, A. Sona, “Time distribution of photons from coherent and Gaussian sources,” Phys. Lett. 20, 27–29 (1966). [CrossRef]
  14. M. Kobayashi, B. Devaraj, M. Usa, Y. Tanno, M. Takeda, H. Inaba, “Development and applications of new technology for two-dimensional space-time characterization and correlation analysis of ultraweak biophoton information,” Frontiers Med. Biol. Eng. 7, 299–309 (1996).
  15. M. Kobayashi, B. Devaraj, M. Usa, Y. Tanno, M. Takeda, H. Inaba, “Two-dimensional imaging of ultraweak photon emission from germinating soybean seedlings with a highly sensitive CCD camera,” Photochem. Photobiol. 65, 535–537 (1997). [CrossRef]
  16. P. R. Fisher, P. Karampetsos, Z. Wilczynska, L. T. Rosenberg, “Oxidative metabolism and heat shock-enhanced chemiluminescence in Dictyostelium discoideum,” J. Cell Sci. 99, 741–750 (1991).
  17. P. R. Fisher, L. T. Rosenberg, “Chemiluminescence in Dictyostelium discoideum,” FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 50, 157–161 (1988). [CrossRef]
  18. M. C. Teich, B. E. A. Saleh, “Fluctuation properties of multiplied-Poisson light: Measurement of the photon-counting distribution for radioluminescence radiation from glass,” Phys. Rev. A 24, 1651–1654 (1981). [CrossRef]
  19. B. E. A. Saleh, D. Stoler, M. C. Teich, “Coherence and photon statistics for optical fields generated by Poisson random emissions,” Phys. Rev. A 27, 360–374 (1983). [CrossRef]
  20. A. B. Cubitt, R. A. Firtel, G. Fischer, L. F. Jaffe, A. L. Miller, “Patterns of free calcium in multicellular stages of Dictyostelium expressing jellyfish apoaequorin,” Development 121, 2291–2301 (1995). [PubMed]
  21. Y. Tanaka, R. Itakura, A. Amagai, Y. Maeda, “The signals for starvation response are transduced through elevated [Ca2+]i in Dictyostelium cells,” Exp. Cell Res. 240, 340–348 (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. L. F. Jaffe, R. Creton, “On the conservation of calcium wave speeds,” Cell Calcium 24, 1–8 (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited