Transient absorption spectroscopy to explore cellular pathways to photobiomodulation. Academic Article uri icon


  • Photobiomodulation (PBM) describes the use of low irradiance light in the red to near-infrared wavelength range to stimulate biological effects in tissue, and many biological and spectroscopic techniques are used to study PBM. However, these techniques focus on the products or downstream effects rather than the electronic transitions that initiate the PBM processes. This study presents a novel approach to studying low irradiance light exposures on individual proteins and/or protein complexes by combining a continuous wave (CW) laser diode with femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS), coined here as CW-TAS, and tests the system on reduced cytochrome c (Cyt c) for proof of principle. TAS was conducted using a 532-nm excitation pump beam and a 350-600nm supercontinuum probe. CW laser diodes with wavelengths of 450nm, 635nm, and 808nm were interchangeably fiber coupled into the HELIOS Fire. Samples of Cyt c were tested by TAS using a pump power of 15W, both with and without CW exposure. CW exposures were carried out with irradiances of 1.60 and 3.20mW/cm2, except for 808nm, which was only tested at 1.60mW/cm2. Both kinetic and global analyses were performed on the TAS data and the time constants for sets with and without CW exposures were compared. The TAS data for Cyt c with the full dosage of CW exposures did not alter the TAS data distinguishably from the control data. No new electronic transient signals were observed beyond the background when testing Cyt c with the CW exposures. Kinetic analysis confirmed that existing transients did not deviate beyond uncertainty. Global time constants for Cyt c were calculated to be 0.250.03ps and 5.10.3ps for the control study, and the time constants for the CW exposed Cyt c were not significantly different. This study concludes that CW irradiation, at doses delivered, does not alter the transient absorption data of Cyt c. The CW-TAS method provides a new tool for studying PBM effects in other proteins and protein complexes that might respond to the CW wavelengths, such as Complex IV, in future studies.

published proceedings

  • J Photochem Photobiol B

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • O'Connor, S. P., Powell, S. M., Rickman, J. M., Pope, N. J., Noojin, G. D., Scully, M. O., Denton, M. L., & Yakovlev, V. V.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • O'Connor, Sean P||Powell, Samantha M||Rickman, John M||Pope, Nathaniel J||Noojin, Gary D||Scully, Marlan O||Denton, Michael L||Yakovlev, Vladislav V

publication date

  • September 2021