Special Section on Brain Mapping and Therapeutics

Quantum mechanism of light transmission by the intermediate filaments in some specialized optically transparent cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Vladimir Makarov

University of Puerto Rico, Department of Physics, Rio Piedras Campus, P.O. Box 23343, San Juan 00931-3343, Puerto Rico

Lidia Zueva

Russian Academy of Sciences, Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry, St. Petersburg, Russia

Tatiana Golubeva

Lomonosov State University, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Moscow 119992, Russia

Elena Korneeva

Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Butlerova Street 5a, Moscow 117485, Russia

Igor Khmelinskii

Universidade do Algarve, Centro de Investigação em Química do Algarve (CIQA), Faro 8005-139, Portugal

Mikhail Inyushin

Universidad Central del Caribe, School of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Bayamón 00960-6032, Puerto Rico

Neurophoton. 4(1), 011005 (Aug 16, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.NPh.4.1.011005
History: Received June 1, 2016; Accepted July 20, 2016
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Abstract.  Some very transparent cells in the optical tract of vertebrates, such as the lens fiber cells, possess certain types of specialized intermediate filaments (IFs) that have essential significance for their transparency. The exact mechanism describing why the IFs are so important for transparency is unknown. Recently, transparency was described also in the retinal Müller cells (MCs). We report that the main processes of the MCs contain bundles of long specialized IFs, each about 10 nm in diameter; most likely, these filaments are the channels providing light transmission to the photoreceptor cells in mammalian and avian retinas. We interpret the transmission of light in such channels using the notions of quantum confinement, describing energy transport in structures with electroconductive walls and diameter much smaller than the wavelength of the respective photons. Model calculations produce photon transmission efficiency in such channels exceeding 0.8, in optimized geometry. We infer that protein molecules make up the channels, proposing a qualitative mechanism of light transmission by such structures. The developed model may be used to describe light transmission by the IFs in any transparent cells.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Vladimir Makarov ; Lidia Zueva ; Tatiana Golubeva ; Elena Korneeva ; Igor Khmelinskii, et al.
"Quantum mechanism of light transmission by the intermediate filaments in some specialized optically transparent cells", Neurophoton. 4(1), 011005 (Aug 16, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.NPh.4.1.011005


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