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Effect of red and near-infrared wavelengths on low-level laser (light) therapy-induced healing of partial-thickness dermal abrasion in mice

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Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) promotes wound healing, reduces pain and inflammation, and prevents tissue death. Studies have explored the effects of various radiant exposures on the effect of LLLT; however, studies of wavelength dependency in in vivo models are less common. In the present study, the healing effects of LLLT mediated by different wavelengths of light in the red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelength regions (635, 730, 810, and 980 nm) delivered at constant fluence (4 J/cm2) and fluence rate (10 mW/cm2) were evaluated in a mouse model of partial-thickness dermal abrasion. Wavelengths of 635 and 810 nm were found to be effective in promoting the healing of dermal abrasions. However, treatment using 730- and 980-nm wavelengths showed no sign of stimulated healing. Healing was maximally augmented in mice treated with an 810-nm wavelength, as evidenced by significant wound area reduction (p < 0.05), enhanced collagen accumulation, and complete re-epithelialization as compared to other wavelengths and non-illuminated controls. Significant acceleration of re-epithelialization and cellular proliferation revealed by immunofluorescence staining for cytokeratin-14 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (p < 0.05) was evident in the 810-nm wavelength compared with other groups. Photobiomodulation mediated by red (635 nm) and NIR (810 nm) light suggests that the biological response of the wound tissue depends on the wavelength employed. The effectiveness of 810-nm wavelength agrees with previous publications and, together with the partial effectiveness of 635 nm and the ineffectiveness of 730 and 980 nm wavelengths, can be explained by the absorption spectrum of cytochrome c oxidase, the candidate mitochondrial chromophore in LLLT.

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This work was funded by the US NIH (R01AI050875). Asheesh Gupta was supported by BOYSCAST Fellowship 2010-11 (Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India). Tianhong Dai was supported by an Airlift Research Foundation Extremity Trauma Research Grant (grant 109421). We would like to acknowledge and deeply thank Jie Zhao, PhD, for her expertise and guidance with confocal microscopy and Peggy Sherwood and Julie LaGraves for their technical help with histology.

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Correspondence to Michael R. Hamblin.

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Gupta, A., Dai, T. & Hamblin, M.R. Effect of red and near-infrared wavelengths on low-level laser (light) therapy-induced healing of partial-thickness dermal abrasion in mice. Lasers Med Sci 29, 257–265 (2014).

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