Wound healing stimulation in mice by low-level light

Tatiana N. Demidova, Ira M. Herman, Elena V. Salomatina, Anna N. Yaroslavsky, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


It has been known for many years that low levels of laser or non-coherent light (LLLT) accelerate some phases of wound healing. LLLT can stimulate fibroblast and keratinocyte proliferation and migration. It is thought to work via light absorption by mitochondrial chromophores leading to an increase in ATP, reactive oxygen species and consequent gene transcription. However, despite many reports about the positive effects of LLLT on wound healing, its use remains controversial. Our laboratory has developed a model of a full thickness excisional wound in mice that allows quantitative and reproducible light dose healing response curves to be generated. We have found a biphasic dose response curve with a maximum positive effect at 2 J/cm 2 of 635-nm light and successively lower beneficial effects from 3-25 J/cm 2, the effect is diminished at doses below 2J/cm 2 and gradually reaches control healing levels. At light doses above 25 J/cm 2 healing is actually worse than controls. The two most effective wavelengths of light were found to be 635 and 820-nm. We found no difference between filtered 635±15-nm light from a lamp and 633-nm light from a HeNe laser. The strain and age of the mouse affected the magnitude of the effect. Light treated wounds start to contract after illumination while control wounds initially expand for the first 24 hours. Our hypothesis is that a single brief light exposure soon after wounding affects fibroblast cells in the margins of the wound. Cells may be induced to proliferate, migrate and assume a myofibroblast phenorype. Our future work will be focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying effects of light on wound healing processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMechanisms for Low-Light Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventMechanisms for Low-Light Therapy - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 22 Jan 200624 Jan 2006

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMechanisms for Low-Light Therapy
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Biomodulation
  • Biostimulation
  • Cold laser
  • Excisional wound healing
  • Low level light therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging


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