Walter’s early collaboration with the Department of Cardiology, Stanford University, to perform the
experimental work on interaction of laser with cardiovascular tissue. The UV light at 355 nm was generated
by the third harmonic of a Nd Yag laser.

Selective absorption of ultraviolet laser energy by human atherosclerotic plaque treated with tetracycline

The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, Pages 1293-1297
Douglas Murphy-Chutorian MD b , a, Jon Kosek MD b , a,
Walter Mok PhD b , a, Steven Quay MD, PhD b , a, Wray
Huestis PhD b , a, John Mehigan MD b ,


Tetracycline is an antibiotic that absorbs ultraviolet light at 355 nm and preferentially binds to atherosclerotic plaque
both in vitro and in vivo. Tetracycline-treated human cadaveric aorta was compared with untreated aorta using several
techniques: absorptive spectrophotometry, which demonstrated a distinct absorptive peak at 355 nm in tetracycline-
treated plaque that was absent in treated normal vessel; ultraviolet microscopy, which showed that treated atheroma
acquired the characteristic fluorescence of tetracycline under ultraviolet light; and tissue uptake of radiolabeled
tetracycline, which showed 4-fold greater uptake by atheroma than by normal vessel. In addition, intravenous
tetracycline administered to patients undergoing vascular surgery demonstrated characteristic fluorescence in surgically
excised diseased arteries. Because of tetracycline's unique properties, we exposed tetracycline-treated and untreated
aorta to ultraviolet laser radiation at a wavelength of 355 nm. We found enhanced ablation of tetracycline-treated
atheroma compared with untreated atheroma. The plaque ablation caused by ultraviolet laser radiation was twice as
extensive in tetracycline-treated vs nontreated plaque (2.2 ± 0.25 mm vs 1.3 ± 0.55 mm, p < 0.017). This study
demonstrates the potential of tetracycline plaque enhancement for the selective destruction of atheroma by ultraviolet
laser radiation.

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The Entrepreneurial Universe East and West – What we can learn from each other
Walter Y. Mok
March 30, 2010, Skilling Auditorium,
Stanford University
US-ASIA Technology Management

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