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8 March 2014 Electromagnetic response of the protective pellicle of different unicellular microalgae
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Euglenoids are unicellular aquatic organisms. These microalgae show a typical surface structure that distinguishes them from the other protists. Most cells are naked and bounded by a plasma membrane surrounded by a pellicle formed by overlapping bands. It is well known that all terrestrial and aquatic organisms are exposed to UV-A and UV-B radiation. This radiation is potentially harmful to life and since it can penetrate up to 12 meters in the water, it can reduce survival, growth and production of phytoplankton. However, the organisms have developed numerous protection mechanisms intended to reduce such damage, such as the production of pigments and other repair mechanisms. However, the possible protection that could provide the first barriers before entering into the cell has not been explored yet. In this paper we investigate, from an electromagnetic point of view, the role played by the pellicle of euglenoids in the protection of the cell against UV radiation. To do so, we investigate the electromagnetic response of different species that exhibit different behaviors against the UV radiation. We solve the diffraction problem by using the Chandezon Method and obtain the reflectance of the pellicle for the UV wavelengths. The results show that the corrugated pellicle could contribute to increase the reflectance, thus reducing the penetration of the UV radiation within the cell and therefore, minimizing the damage and increasing the survival of these organisms.
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Marina E. Inchaussandague, Diana C. Skigin, Analía Tolivia, Isabel Fuertes Vila, and Visitación Conforti "Electromagnetic response of the protective pellicle of different unicellular microalgae", Proc. SPIE 9055, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2014, 905514 (8 March 2014);

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