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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 9 — Sep. 8, 2008

Light distribution in the erythrocyte under laser irradiation: a finite-difference time-domain calculation

Xiao-Qian Wang, Ji-Tong Yu, Pei-Nan Wang, and Ji-Yao Chen  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 22, pp. 4037-4044 (2008)

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In medical applications of low power laser irradiations, safety is one of the most concerning problems since the light focused by the biological object itself may cause damage of living organisms. The light distributions in an erythrocyte with the shape of native biconcave, oblate spheroid, or disk sphere under the irradiation of a plane light of 632.8 nm were studied with a numerical calculation method of finite-difference time domain. The focusing effect by either the biconcave erythrocyte, oblate spheroid, or disk sphere erythrocyte was found to be so remarkable that the light intensities at the focused areas close to the erythrocyte membrane were about 10 times higher than that of the incident light when the light irradiated along the erythrocyte plane. This focusing effect became weak and even disappeared when the irradiation direction deviated from the erythrocyte plane for more than an angle of 15 ° . Because the highest light intensity in the erythrocyte can be about one order of magnitude higher than that of the incident light, this factor should be taken into account for laser safety in medical applications.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(170.1420) Medical optics and biotechnology : Biology
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: March 10, 2008
Revised Manuscript: July 4, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: July 7, 2008
Published: July 24, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Xiao-Qian Wang, Ji-Tong Yu, Pei-Nan Wang, and Ji-Yao Chen, "Light distribution in the erythrocyte under laser irradiation: a finite-difference time-domain calculation," Appl. Opt. 47, 4037-4044 (2008)

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