The light-oxygen effect in biological cells enhanced by highly localized surface plasmon-polaritons

Anna Khokhlova*, Igor Zolotovskii, Sergei Sokolovski, Yury Saenko, Edik Rafailov, Dmitrii Stoliarov, Evgenia Pogodina, Vyacheslav Svetukhin, Vladimir Sibirny, Andrei Fotiadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here at the first time we suggested that the surface plasmon-polariton phenomenon which it is well described in metallic nanostructures could also be used for explanation of the unexpectedly strong oxidative effects of the low-intensity laser irradiation in living matters (cells, tissues, organism). We demonstrated that the narrow-band laser emitting at 1265 nm could generate significant amount of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in both HCT116 and CHO-K1 cell cultures. Such cellular ROS effects could be explained through the generation of highly localized plasmon-polaritons on the surface of mitochondrial crista. Our experimental conditions, the low-intensity irradiation, the narrow spectrum band (<4 nm) of the laser and comparably small size bio-structures (~10 μm) were shown to be sufficient for the plasmon-polariton generation and strong laser field confinement enabling the oxidative stress observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18435
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019

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Funding: Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) (#18-29-19101 (I.Z., D.S.)). Russian Science Foundation (RSF) (#18-12-00457 (A.F., I.Z., D.S.). EU H2020 FET research and innovation program MESO-BRAIN (#713140 (E.R., S.S.)). Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation through the assignment of 2019 year for Scientific-Manufacturing Complex “Technological Centre”.Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation (Grant № 12.1223.2017/AP to S.S. and E.R.).


  • Biological physics
  • Biophotonics
  • Biophysics
  • Lasers, LEDs and light sources
  • Micro-optics


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