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Neurophotonics

Quantum mechanism of light transmission by the intermediate filaments in some specialized optically transparent cells
Author(s): Vladimir Makarov; Lidia Zueva; Tatiana Golubeva; Elena Korneeva; Igor Khmelinskii; Mikhail Inyushin
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Paper Abstract

Some very transparent cells in the optical tract of vertebrates, such as the lens fiber cells, possess certain types of specialized intermediate filaments (IFs) that have essential significance for their transparency. The exact mechanism describing why the IFs are so important for transparency is unknown. Recently, transparency was described also in the retinal Müller cells (MCs). We report that the main processes of the MCs contain bundles of long specialized IFs, each about 10 nm in diameter; most likely, these filaments are the channels providing light transmission to the photoreceptor cells in mammalian and avian retinas. We interpret the transmission of light in such channels using the notions of quantum confinement, describing energy transport in structures with electroconductive walls and diameter much smaller than the wavelength of the respective photons. Model calculations produce photon transmission efficiency in such channels exceeding 0.8, in optimized geometry. We infer that protein molecules make up the channels, proposing a qualitative mechanism of light transmission by such structures. The developed model may be used to describe light transmission by the IFs in any transparent cells.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2016
PDF: 15 pages
Neurophoton. 4(1) 011005 doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.4.1.011005
Published in: Neurophotonics Volume 4, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Vladimir Makarov, Univ. of Puerto Rico (United States)
Lidia Zueva, Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)
Tatiana Golubeva, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow SU (Russian Federation)
Elena Korneeva, Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology (Russian Federation)
Igor Khmelinskii, Univ. do Algarve (Portugal)
Mikhail Inyushin, Univ. Central del Caribe (United States)


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