Laser Technology Could Be Used To Protect Against HIV

Armen Hareyan's picture
Advertisement

A type of infrared laser technology could be used to protect the humanimmune system against HIV, as well as other viruses and infections,without causing side effects, according to a study published in theNov. 1 issue of the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matters, BBC News reports.

Advertisement

For the study, lead researcher Kong-Thon Tsen of Arizona State Universityand colleagues used infrared femtosecond lasers with carefullyspecified wavelengths to target viruses and bacteria without harmingother cells. The technology, called Impulsive Stimulated RamanScattering, generates vibrations that can destroy the protein coat ofmicroorganisms. The researchers said they found a level of vibrationthat "inactivates both viruses and bacteria while leaving sensitivematerials such as mammalian cells unharmed." The researchers said theyhave conducted experiments using the laser technology on E. colibacterial cells, Tobacco Mosaic Virus cells, and human and hamstercells.

Kong-Thon said that the "research so far suggests thatISRS will be ready for use in disinfection and could provide treatmentsagainst some of the worst, often drug-resistant, bacterial and viralpathogens." Jean-Yves Maillard, senior lecturer in pharmaceuticalmicrobiology at Cardiff University,said the technology is "interesting" but added that it is "at a verypreliminary stage, and any application in humans is a long way off" (BBC News, 11/6).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report ispublished for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

Advertisement