Honors College Thesis


Light Transmittance Properties of Biological Tissues of the Red-sided Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis, Between 450 and 850 Nanometers Public Deposited

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  • Using a spectrometer and photomultiplier tube, I measured the electromagnetic radiation transmittance properties of three types of tissue-- ventral skin, cardiac muscle, and liver tissue--in the red-sided garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis between the wavelengths of 450 and 850 nanometers (nm). Control readings were taken using a 10⁻² neutral density filter. Sample data were then divided by 100 times the control data and charted to visually illuminate how these tissues transmitted light throughout this spectrum. Ventral skin was shown to have no extraordinary transmittance properties. Cardiac muscle exhibited very little transmittance of the wavelengths between 450 nm and 550 nm, and then displayed a fairly distinct absorption edge between 650 nm and 700 nm. Liver tissue showed virtually no transmittance between 450 nm and 550 nm, followed by very little difference in transmittance spectrum from the control. These results were also qualitatively compared to similar data of increasing milk concentrations divided by the same control as used in the tissue experiments. This comparison was made to illustrate the difficulty involved in determining the transmittance properties of proteinaceous substances.
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