Penetration of laser light through red blood cell ghosts
Hemoglobin is the main absorber of visible light in blood and blood-perfused tissues. However, hemoglobin is released from a red blood cell (RBC) during hemolysis. Hemolysis may be caused by a large number of medical conditions, including photodynamic therapy (PDT) and this subsequently can affect passage of light through the treated biological structures. The purpose of the present study was to determine the penetration of a laser beam through a suspension of hemoglobin-free human red blood cells (RBCs) – ghosts. Although hemoglobin has been efficiently removed from the samples used in our experiments, our measurements show that the samples still effectively attenuate the radiant power of penetrating laser light. We established penetration depths of 12.6 mm and 15.4 mm for two different laser light wavelengths, 532 nm and 630 nm, respectively. The penetration depth of laser light was about one order of magnitude higher for hemoglobin-free RBC ghosts as compared to intact RBCs ,  and . These results can be important in case of phototherapy or biostimulation, since all photons that penetrate in a biological object may interact with it and evoke biological response.
► Laser beam penetration through hemoglobin-free human red blood cells – ghosts. ► We established penetration depth of 12.6 mm for 532 nm laser light wavelength. ► Laser light penetration depth through ghosts was 15.4 mm for 630 nm wavelength.
Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology - Volume 103, Issue 3, 2 June 2011, Pages 230–233