The effect of photomodulation on fibroblast growth factor and the Ras/MAPK signalling pathway: A review

Patricia Kasowanjete, Nicolette N. Houreld, Heidi Abrahamse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Current therapies and technologies used to treat hard-to-heal diabetic wounds are limited to a 50% healing rate. The rise in the percentage of lower limb non-traumatic amputations in patients with diabetes has caused an increased demand for alternative, effective and safe treatment modalities. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) utilises light to induce physiological changes and provide therapeutic benefits and has been shown to increase the healing of hard-to-heal wounds through the release of growth factors. The aim of this narrative review is to investigate the effect of photobiomodulation (PBM) on fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and the role of the Ras/MAPK signalling pathway in diabetic wound healing. Method: Relevant journal articles were obtained through PubMed and Google Scholar. Results: Experimental and clinical findings from the review show that PBM can stimulate the release of growth factors, including FGF, an essential cytokine in wound healing, and one which is present at lower concentrations in diabetic wounds. There is also activation of the Ras/MAPK signalling pathway. Conclusion: One mechanism through which healing may be stimulated by PBM is via the FGF-Ras/MAPK signalling pathway, although strong evidence under hyperglycaemic conditions is lacking. Declaration of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-845
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of wound care
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fundamentals and Skills
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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