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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 185-196
Research Article

Selective Inactivation of Viruses with Femtosecond Laser Pulses and its Potential Use for in Vitro Therapy

Shaw-Wei D. Tsen,1 Yu-Shan D. Tsen,2 K. T. Tsen,3 and T. C. Wu4

1School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA
2Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3Department of Physics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
4Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction: Traditional biochemical and pharmaceutical methods employed today encounter problems of clinical side effects and drug resistance, and their use is becoming limited. Therefore, it has become important and necessary to develop new, alternative strategies to combat viral diseases.

Materials and Method: A variety of viruses including M13 bacetriophage (nonenveloped ssDNA), tobacco mosaic virus (nonenveloped ssRNA), human papillomavirus (nonenveloped dsDNA) and human immunodeficiency virus (enveloped ssRNA), together with human red blood cells, Jurkat T-cells and mouse dendritic cells in their buffer solutions have been irradiated with near-infrared subpicosecond laser pulses in vitro.

Results: A window of laser power density, approximately between 1 GW/cm2 and 10 GW/cm2, has been observed that allows killing the viral particles while leaving mammalian cells unharmed.

Conclusion: The ultrashort pulsed laser technology may have great potential for disinfection of blood components.