Delayed tissue death probed with sunlight surgery

Jeffrey M. Gordon, Ruthy Shaco-Levy, Daniel Feuermann, Mahmoud Huleihil, Solly Mizrahi

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


    We report pronounced delayed tissue death in photothermal surgery performed with highly concentrated sunlight on the livers of healthy live rats. Pathology reveals that lesion volumes increase by up to a factor of 5 within approximately 24 h after surgery, and then stabilize. Islands of viable cells can persist within damaged tissue, in the immediate vicinity of blood vessels, but also necrose within about 48 h. Delayed cell death is an unambiguously non-thermal process, apparently linked solely to biochemical messengers. The dramatic enlargement of the affected region appears to have been essentially overlooked in laser surgery studies. The ramifications include (a) proper gauging of the required scale of tissue damage during surgery, toward averting excessive destruction of untargeted surrounding tissue; and (b) avoiding false positives from the substantial amount of tissue that appears viable immediately after surgery but will necrose within 24 h. The comparable performance of high-flux solar and concentrated laser light for hyperthermic treatments permits effective surgery and the probing of tissue death dynamics with a solar energy system that is simpler and markedly less expensive than surgical lasers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number44
    Pages (from-to)270-277
    Number of pages8
    JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
    StatePublished - 16 Aug 2005
    EventOptical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVI - San Jose, CA, United States
    Duration: 24 Jan 200526 Jan 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
    • Biomaterials


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