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DARPA Soldier Self Care: Rapid Healing of Laser Eye Injuries with Light Emitting Diode Technology

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Conference paper

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Photobiomodulation by light in the red to near infrared range 630-1000 nm using low energy lasers or light-emitting diode LED arrays has been shown to accelerate wound healing, improve recovery from ischemic injury and attenuate degeneration in the injured optic nerve. At the cellular level, photoirradiation at low fluences can generate significant biological effects including cellular proliferation and the release of growth factors from cells. Mitochondrial cytochromes have been postulated as photoacceptors for red to near-infrared NIR light energy and reactive oxygen species or mitochondrial redox changes have been advanced as potential mediators of the biological effects of this light. We have demonstrated in primary neuronal cells that NIR-LED photo-irradiation 670 nm at 4 Jcm2 increases the production of cytochrome oxidase in cultured primary neurons, reverses the reduction of cytochrome oxidase activity produced by metabolic inhibitors and attenuates cyanide-induced apoptosis. We have also shown that the action spectrum of NIR light for stimulation of cytochrome oxidase activity parallels the near-infrared absorption spectrum of the oxidized form of cytochrome oxidase. Importantly, there was no evidence of damage to the retina or optic nerve following 670 nm LED treatment in either the experimental or clinical studies. Based on these findings we propose that NIRLED photobiomodulation represents an innovative and non-invasive therapeutic approach for the treatment of retinal injury and disease. In summary, studies have demonstrated that NIR-LED treatment 1 heals poisoned neurons by stimulating cytochrome oxidase activity 2 protects against retinal damage and improves the recovery of retinal function in a rodent model of mitochondrial poison-induced blindness and 3 promotes retinal healing and improved visual function following high intensity laser-induced retinal injury in adult non-human primates.

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  • Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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