Terahertz radiation can break strands of the protein actin, which is
component of cell skeleton of eukaryotic cells and is responsible for many
important processes in them. Japanese scientists have conducted a series of experiments and found that the shock waves generated in water solutions and tissue of the body under the influence of this
radiation, can hinder the polymerization reaction of actin, but does not affect the integrity and viability of the cells. This opens up opportunities for manipulation of cellular functions and therapy
cancer, says in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The gap between the infrared and microwave bands of the scale of electromagnetic waves called terahertz range. The frequency corresponding to this period is in the range from 0.1 to 10 terahertz that corresponds to wavelengths from 0.01 to 3 mm (submillimeter radio waves).
This band has several features that attract great interest from the point of view of their application in practice. For example, terahertz radiation is well absorbed by the water, but penetrates through dielectric materials, such as wood, paper, plastic, and a small quantum energy (from 0.4 to 40 millielectronvolt) does not lead to ionization of atoms, unlike x-rays. In this regard, the terahertz radiation used in scanners for personal inspection and in medicine submillimeter waves are used to diagnose skin cancer.
the last decade there is an active development of terahertz technology, however, there is still no full confidence in the safety of this radiation, so scientists
continue to explore the impact of submillimeter radio waves on biological
Shota Yamazaki (Yamazaki Shota) from the Japanese RIKEN Center for advanced Photonics, and his colleagues studied the effect of terahertz electromagnetic waves on cellular protein actin. In the cell this protein exists in two forms, one of which is a Monomeric globular protein G-actin. Due to the polymerization process forms a second form (F-actin), it is a polymer chain of proteins, which are a component of cell skeleton and play a key role in the processes of motility and cell division.