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Proceedings Paper

A look at some systemic properties of self-bioluminescent emission
Author(s): Katherine Creath
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Paper Abstract

Self-bioluminescent emission (SBE) is a type of biological chemiluminescence where photons are emitted as part of chemical reactions occurring during metabolic processes. This emission is also known as biophoton emission, ultraweak photon emission and ultraweak bioluminescence. This paper outlines research over the past century on some systemic properties of SBE as measured with biological detectors, photomultiplier detectors and ultra-sensitive imaging arrays. There is an apparent consensus in the literature that emission in the deep blue and ultraviolet (150-450nm) is related to DNA / RNA processes while emission in the red and near infrared (600-1000nm) is related to mitochondria and oxidative metabolisms involving reactive oxygen species, singlet oxygen and free radicals in plant, animal and human cells along with chlorophyll fluorescent decay in plants. Additionally, there are trends showing that healthy, unstressed and uninjured samples have less emission than samples that are unhealthy, stressed or injured. Mechanisms producing this emission can be narrowed down by isolating the wavelength region of interest and waiting for short-term fluorescence to decay leaving the ultraweak long-term metabolic emission. Examples of imaging this emission in healthy versus unhealthy, stressed versus unstressed, and injured versus uninjured plant parts are shown. Further discussion poses questions still to be answered related to properties such as coherence, photon statistics, and methodological means of isolating mechanisms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 August 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7057, The Nature of Light: Light in Nature II, 705708 (11 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.800667
Show Author Affiliations
Katherine Creath, Optineering (United States)
College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7057:
The Nature of Light: Light in Nature II
Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

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