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Plasma Membrane Integrity and Survival of Melanoma Cells After Nanosecond Laser Pulses


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) photoacoustic detection systems can aid clinical decision-making in the treatment of cancer. Interaction of melanin within melanoma cells with nanosecond laser pulses generates photoacoustic waves that make its detection possible. This study aims at: (1) determining melanoma cell survival after laser pulses of 6 ns at λ = 355 and 532 nm; (2) comparing the potential enhancement in the photoacoustic signal using λ = 355 nm in contrast with λ = 532 nm; (3) determining the critical laser fluence at which melanin begins to leak out from melanoma cells; and (4) developing a time-resolved imaging (TRI) system to study the intracellular interactions and their effect on the plasma membrane integrity. Monolayers of melanoma cells were grown on tissue culture-treated clusters and irradiated with up to 1.0 J/cm2. Surviving cells were stained with trypan blue and counted using a hemacytometer. The phosphate buffered saline absorbance was measured with a nanodrop spectrophotometer to detect melanin leakage from the melanoma cells post-laser irradiation. Photoacoustic signal magnitude was studied at both wavelengths using piezoelectric sensors. TRI with 6 ns resolution was used to image plasma membrane damage. Cell survival decreased proportionally with increasing laser fluence for both wavelengths, although the decrease is more pronounced for 355 nm radiation than for 532 nm. It was found that melanin leaks from cells equally for both wavelengths. No significant difference in photoacoustic signal was found between wavelengths. TRI showed clear damage to plasma membrane due to laser-induced bubble formation.

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