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Proceedings Paper

Investigation of the Frohlich hypothesis with high intensity terahertz radiation
Author(s): Peter Weightman
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Paper Abstract

This article provides an update to recent reviews of the Frohlich hypothesis that biological organisation is facilitated by the creation of coherent excited states driven by a flow of free energy provided by metabolic processes and mediated by molecular motions in the terahertz range. Sources of intense terahertz radiation have the potential to test this hypothesis since if it is true the growth and development of sensitive systems such as stem cells should be influenced by irradiation with intense terahertz radiation. A brief survey of recent work shows that it is not yet possible to make an assessment of the validity of the Frohlich hypothesis. Under some conditions a variety of cell types respond to irradiation with intense THz radiation in ways that involve changes in the activity of their DNA. In other experiments very intense and prolonged THz radiation has no measureable effect on the behavior of very sensitive systems such as stem cells. The wide variation in experimental conditions makes it impossible to draw any conclusions as to characteristics of THz radiation that will induce a response in living cells. It is possible that in environments suitable for their maintenance and growth cells are capable of compensating for any effects caused by exposure to THz radiation up to some currently unknown level of THz peak power.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 March 2014
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 8941, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXV; and Terahertz for Biomedical Applications, 89411F (13 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057397
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Weightman, Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8941:
Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXV; and Terahertz for Biomedical Applications
E. Duco Jansen; Gerald J. Wilmink; Bennett L. Ibey; Robert J. Thomas, Editor(s)

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