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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Inactivation of enveloped virus by laser-driven protein aggregation
Author(s): Shaw-Wei D. Tsen; Travis Chapa; Wandy Beatty; Kong-Thon Tsen; Dong Yu; Samuel Achilefu

Paper Abstract

Ultrafast lasers in the visible and near-infrared range have emerged as a potential new method for pathogen reduction of blood products and pharmaceuticals. However, the mechanism of enveloped virus inactivation by this method is unknown. We report the inactivation as well as the molecular and structural effects caused by visible (425 nm) femtosecond laser irradiation on murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), an enveloped, double-stranded DNA virus. Our results show that laser irradiation (1) caused a 5-log reduction in MCMV titer, (2) did not cause significant changes to the global structure of MCMV virions including membrane and capsid, as assessed by electron microscopy, (3) produced no evidence of double-strand breaks or crosslinking in MCMV genomic DNA, and (4) caused selective aggregation of viral capsid and tegument proteins. We propose a model in which ultrafast laser irradiation induces partial unfolding of viral proteins by disrupting hydrogen bonds and/or hydrophobic interactions, leading to aggregation of closely associated viral proteins and inactivation of the virus. These results provide new insight into the inactivation of enveloped viruses by visible femtosecond lasers at the molecular level, and help pave the way for the development of a new ultrafast laser technology for pathogen reduction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 December 2012
PDF: 8 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 17(12) 128002 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.12.128002
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 17, Issue 12
Show Author Affiliations
Shaw-Wei D. Tsen, Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis (United States)
Travis Chapa, Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis (United States)
Wandy Beatty, Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis (United States)
Kong-Thon Tsen, Arizona State Univ. (United States)
Dong Yu, Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis (United States)
Samuel Achilefu, Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis (United States)


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