Birefringence Measurement of Rapid Structural Changes during Collagen Denaturation

Vanitha Sankaran, Joseph T. Walsh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Linear birefringence, an optical property that results from a material's structure and composition, can be used to study dynamic changes in tissue structure. Single, 200 μs-long pulses from a Ho:YAG laser emitting 2.1 μm radiation were used to induce changes in the linear birefringence of rat tail tendon. Such changes were measured on a millisecond timescale. The measured rate coefficients describing the denaturation are not predicted by previous studies of collagen denaturation induced by slower, lower-temperature heating. Two types of laser-induced collagen denaturation can be differentiated: thermal denaturation, which appears rate-limited, and thermomechanical denaturation, which is observed at higher laser radiant exposures. Neither process is described by standard Arrhenius-type kinetic models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-851
Number of pages6
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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