We report a photonic approach for selective inactivation of viruses with a near-infrared subpicosecond laser. We demonstrate that this method can selectively inactivate viral particles ranging from nonpathogenic viruses such as the M13 bacteriophage and the tobacco mosaic virus to pathogenic viruses such as the human papillomavirus and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). At the same time, sensitive materials such as human Jurkat T cells, human red blood cells, and mouse dendritic cells remain unharmed. The laser technology targets the global mechanical properties of the viral protein shell, making it relatively insensitive to the local genetic mutation in the target viruses. As a result, the approach can inactivate both the wild and mutated strains of viruses. This intriguing advantage is particularly important in the treatment of diseases involving rapidly mutating viral species such as HIV. Our photonic approach could be used for the disinfection of viral pathogens in blood products and for the treatment of blood-borne viral diseases in the clinic.
- Laser applications
- Laser spectroscopy
- Lasers in medicine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering