New photonic imaging tools can help to understand better the nonlinear behavior of laser light in human blood. A laser beam shining through red blood cell suspensions can become “self-trapped,” according to researchers. The process reduced light scattering to maintain the power of laser beams. The observed nonlinearity was affected by osmotic conditions and sample age.
The researchers propose using the technique to detect sickle cell anemia and malaria, which affect the size and shape of blood cells. Osmotic conditions influence the properties of human red blood cells (RBCs), which are essential during disease analysis.
Researchers used three different osmotic solutions/conditions to determine a laser beam’s self-trapping and scattering-resistant nonlinear propagation. The results revealed that the strength of the optical nonlinearity on the cells increased with osmotic pressure. Interestingly, the nonlinear behavior of aged blood samples with lysed cells was noticeably different due to the presence of free hemoglobin.
Researchers studied nonlinear beam propagation in human RBCs suspended in three different buffer solutions. The findings point to the development of laser treatment therapies for blood-related diseases.
The scientists used direct video microscopy and optical tweezer measurements. They showed that the beam trapping force was greatest for RBCs in hypertonic conditions and weakest for hypotonic solutions.