Selective inactivation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus with an ultrashort pulsed laser

Kong-Thon Tsen, Shaw Wei D Tsen, Chien Fu Hung, T. C. Wu, Karen Kibler, Bertram Jacobs, Juliann G. Kiang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recently, femtosecond laser technology has been shown to be effective in the inactivation of non-pathogenic viruses. In this paper, we demonstrate for the first time that infectious numbers of pathogenic viruses such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be reduced by irradiation with subpicosecond near infrared laser pulses at a moderate laser power density. By comparing the threshold laser power density for the inactivation of HIV with those of human red blood cells and mouse dendritic cells, we conclude that it is plausible to use the ultrashort pulsed laser to selectively inactivate blood-borne pathogens such as HIV while leaving the sensitive materials like human red blood cells unharmed. This finding has important implications in the development of a new laser technology for disinfection of viral pathogens in blood products and in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2009
EventOptical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XX - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 26 2009Jan 28 2009


OtherOptical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Pathogen inactivation
  • Ultrashort pulsed laser
  • Viral load reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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