Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 547–554 | Cite as

Wound-healing effects of 635-nm low-level laser therapy on primary human vocal fold epithelial cells: an in vitro study

  • Zhewei Lou
  • Chi Zhang
  • Ting Gong
  • Chao Xue
  • Austin Scholp
  • Jack J. JiangEmail author
Original Article


Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been promoted for its beneficial effects on tissue healing and pain relief for skin and oral applications. However, there is no corresponding literature reporting on vocal fold wound healing. Our purpose was to assess the potential wound-healing effects of LLLT on primary human vocal fold epithelial cells (VFECs). In this study, normal vocal fold tissue was obtained from a 58-year-old male patient who was diagnosed with postcricoid carcinoma without involvement of the vocal folds and underwent total laryngectomy. Primary VFECs were then cultured. Cells were irradiated at a wavelength of 635 nm with fluences of 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 J/cm2 (50 mW/cm2), which correspond to irradiation times of 20, 80, 160, 240, 320, and 400 s, respectively. Cell viability of VFECs in response to varying doses of LLLT was investigated by the Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) method. The most effective irradiation dose was selected to evaluate the cell migration capacity by using the scratch wound-healing assay. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect the gene expression of TGF-β1, TGF-β3, EGF, IL-6, and IL-10. Irradiation with doses of 8 J/cm2 resulted in 4% increases in cell proliferation differing significantly from the control group (p < 0.05). With subsequent doses at 48 and 72 h after irradiation, the differences between the experimental and the control groups became greater, up to 9.8% (p < 0.001) and 19.5% (p < 0.001), respectively. It also increased cell migration and the expression of some genes, such as EGF, TGF-β1, TGF-β3, and IL-10, involved in the tissue healing process. This study concludes that LLLT at the preset parameters was capable of stimulating the proliferation and migration of human vocal fold epithelial cells in culture as well as increase the expression of some genes involved in tissue healing process. Additionally, successive laser treatments at 24 h intervals have an additive beneficial effect on the healing of injured tissues.


Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) Vocal fold epithelial cells (VFECs) Wound healing Anti-inflammation 


Role of funding source

The work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (number: 81329001).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval was obtained from the ethics committee of the Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Hospital of Fudan University (2017061).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhewei Lou
    • 1
  • Chi Zhang
    • 1
  • Ting Gong
    • 1
  • Chao Xue
    • 1
  • Austin Scholp
    • 2
  • Jack J. Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.The Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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