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Proceedings Paper

The art and science of low-energy applications in medicine: pathology perspectives
Author(s): Sharon L. Thomsen
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Paper Abstract

Applications of low energy non-ionizing irradiation result in non-lethal and lethal effects in cells, tissues and intact individuals. The effects of these applications depend on the physical parameters of the applied energies, the mechanisms of interaction of these energies on the target and the biologic status of the target. Recently, cell death has been found not to be a random accident of situation or age but a range of complicated physiological responses to various extrinsic and intrinsic events some of which are genetically programmed and/ or physiologically regulated. Therefore, cell death has been classified into three general groups: 1) Programmed cell death including apoptosis and necroptosis, cornefication and autophagy; 2) Accidental (traumatic) cell death due to the direct, immediate effects of the lethal event and 3) Necrotic cell death which is, by default, all cell death not associated with programmed or accidental cell death. Lethal low energy non-ionizing application biologic effects involve mechanisms of all three groups as compared to high energy applications that predominantly involve the mechanisms of accidental cell death. Currently, the mechanisms of all these modes of cell death are being vigorously investigated. As research and development of new low energy applications continues, the need to understand the mechanisms of cell death that they produce will be critical to the rational creation of safe, yet effective instruments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 February 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7901, Energy-based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment VI, 790102 (24 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.877565
Show Author Affiliations
Sharon L. Thomsen, Pathology Consultant (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7901:
Energy-based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment VI
Thomas P. Ryan, Editor(s)

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