19 February 2007 Theoretical and experimental bioeffects research for high-power terahertz electromagnetic energy
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Historically, safety analyses for radio frequency emission and optical laser exposures have been designed to define the threshold level for tissue damage. To date, no experimental studies have documented damage thresholds to living tissues in the terahertz (THz) range of electromagnetic frequencies (0.1 - 10 THz). Exposure limits exist as extrapolated estimates at the extreme bounds of current occupational safety standards for lasers and radio frequency sources. Therefore, due to the lack of published data on the safety of terahertz emissions, an understanding of the bioeffects of tissue exposures to terahertz beams is necessary. The terahertz frequency band represents an intermediate range in which both optical and radiofrequency methods of theory and experimentation can be selectively employed and compared for consistency. We report on work recently completed to reconcile the theoretical methods of optical and radio-frequency radiative transport modeling, while additionally discussing preliminary theoretical estimates of damage thresholds to skin tissue from terahertz energy and work planned to validate these findings experimentally.
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Jill McQuade, Nichole Jindra, Semih Kumru, Ron Seaman, Alex Salazar, Victor Villavicencio, C. D. Clark, Kalyn Yaws, Jason Payne, Robert Thomas, William Roach, "Theoretical and experimental bioeffects research for high-power terahertz electromagnetic energy", Proc. SPIE 6435, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XVIII, 64350X (19 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.725180; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.725180

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