Weak biophoton emission after laser surgery application in soft tissues: Analysis of the optical features

Federico Boschi, Petra R. Basso, Ilaria Corridori, Giovanni Durando, Angela Sandri, Gabriel Segalla, Mario Raspanti, Antonello E. Spinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nowadays, laser scalpels are commonly used in surgery, replacing the traditional surgical scalpels for several applications involving cutting or ablating living biological tissue. Laser scalpels are generally used to concentrate light energy in a very small-sized area; light energy is then converted in heat by the tissues. In other cases, the fiber glass tip of the laser scalpel is heated to high temperature and used to cut the tissues. Depending on the temperature reached in the irradiated area, different effects are visible in the tissues. In this study, we report the discovery and characterization of the light emitted by soft mammalian biological tissues from seconds to hours after laser surgery application. A laser diode (with hot fiber glass tip) working at 808 nm and commercially available for medical and dentistry applications was used. The irradiated tissues (red meat, chicken breast and fat) showed light emission in the visible range, well detectable with a commercial charge coupled device (CCD) camera. The time decay of the light emission, the laser power effects and the spectral features in the range 500 to 840 nm in the different tissues are here reported.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere201800260
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Cerenkov luminescence
  • diode laser
  • laser surgery
  • optical imaging
  • thermoluminescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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