Special Issue "Light as a Cure: Photobiomodulation, from the Cell to the Clinical Application"

A special issue of Photonics (ISSN 2304-6732). This special issue belongs to the section "Biophotonics and Biomedical Optics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022 | Viewed by 7871

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Andrea Amaroli
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Department of Orthopaedic Dentistry, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia
2. Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche e Diagnostiche Integrate, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
Interests: cell biology; photobiomodulation; tissue regeneration; bioelectromagnetism; protistology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Nasim Chiniforush
E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
1. Dental Implant Research Center, Dentistry Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2. Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated Diagnostics, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
Interests: photobiomodulation; photodynamic therapy; regeneration; stem cell
Dr. Kinga Grzech-Leśniak
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Laser Laboratory Department Oral Surgery at Wroclaw Medical University, UMED, Wroclaw, Poland
2. Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU, Richmond, VA, USA
Interests: laser periodontology; photodynamic therapy; photobiomodulation; LLLT; laser implantology; laser surgery; laser prosthodontics; laser orthodontics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Molecules in living systems can absorb photon energy, reaching an electronically excited state that temporarily modifies their conformation and function.

Two types of molecules exist, those specialized to absorb light, such as photoreceptors, and non-specialized molecules, such as photoacceptors. The latter are more common than photoreceptors and are part of ubiquitous metabolic pathways not directly related to light processing.

Although sunlight is not a source of energy for the metabolism of animal cells, like it is for plant cells, interactions of light at the visible and near-infrared wavelengths have also been described in them. Particularly, since many photoacceptors have been detected in the mitochondria, this organelle is considered the elective cellular target to describe light and animal cell interaction, and its modulation of cellular metabolic key pathways of all life forms, from protozoa to humans.

This biological and medical subject was defined as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), but recently, the more appropriate definition of photobiomodulation has been introduced.

Therefore, photobiomodulation affects photoacceptors’ primary targets and modulates oxygen consumption, both ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, as well as regulates nitric oxide (NO) release and intracellular calcium (Ca2+) concentration.

The photobiomodulation effect can thus modulate cellular second messengers through different strategies and support both the clinician and the patient toward a faster recovery in different medical areas.

Today, however, photobiomodulation shows limitations in its applicability, due to some lack of its reproducibility. The new challenge for researchers is therefore implementing knowledge at the cellular level and validating it through reliable pre-clinical (animal) and clinical studies.

Both original research papers and review papers are welcome. Technical topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Novel molecular and cellular mechanisms of photobiomodulation;
  • Impact of photobiomodulation on cellular damage and stress;
  • Photobiomodulation interaction with life forms: an evolutionary perspective;
  • Photobiomodulation and tissue interaction: behavior and optimization of irradiation parameters to support more reproducible therapy;
  • Implications of photobiomodulation on tissue dysfunction recovery;
  • Impact of photobiomodulation on human disorders and diseases: pre-clinical and clinical evidence combined with pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies.

Dr. Andrea Amaroli
Dr. Nasim Chiniforush
Dr. Kinga Grzech-Leśniak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Photonics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bone regeneration
  • cell metabolism
  • high-intensity laser therapy, HILT
  • laser therapy
  • low-level laser therapy, LLLT
  • mitochondria
  • photobiomodulation
  • tissue dysfunction
  • wound healing

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Optimization of Photobiomodulation Dose in Biological Tissue by Adjusting the Focal Point of Lens
Photonics 2022, 9(5), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics9050350 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 474
Abstract
The optical power density in biotissue is an important issue for photobiomodulation (PBM) clinical applications. In our previous study, the maximal dose and the power density distributions of 830 nm lasers under human skin could be exactly calculated and measured. In this work, [...] Read more.
The optical power density in biotissue is an important issue for photobiomodulation (PBM) clinical applications. In our previous study, the maximal dose and the power density distributions of 830 nm lasers under human skin could be exactly calculated and measured. In this work, the laser power density in tissue can be changed by adjusting the focal point of the lens. From the experimental results, it is evident that the power densities on the attached gingiva and the surrounding tissues can be improved. Thus, the dose of a near-infrared (NIR) laser in the target tissue can be increased with a suitable lens. Most importantly, focusing lasers on deeper tissue can avoid any damage to the skin. This study provides a dose optimization method on the target tissue, and the results can be applied to clinical applications, especially laser acupuncture (LA). Full article
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Article
Effect of Near-Infrared Blood Photobiomodulation on Red Blood Cell Damage from the Extracorporeal Circuit during Hemodialysis In Vitro
Photonics 2022, 9(5), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics9050341 - 13 May 2022
Viewed by 467
Abstract
The contact of blood with the bioincompatible membranes of the dialyzer, which is part of the extracorporeal circuit during hemodialysis (HD), causes upregulation of various cellular and non-cellular processes, including massive generation and release of reactive oxygen species (ROS), (which is one of [...] Read more.
The contact of blood with the bioincompatible membranes of the dialyzer, which is part of the extracorporeal circuit during hemodialysis (HD), causes upregulation of various cellular and non-cellular processes, including massive generation and release of reactive oxygen species (ROS), (which is one of the primary causes of anemia in chronic renal failure). We hypothesize that near-infrared (NIR) radiation possesses antioxidant properties and is considered to protect the red blood cell (RBC) membrane by enhancing its resilience to negative pressures. Our experimental setup consisted of an HD machine equipped with a dialyzer with a polyamide membrane; whole bovine blood was examined in vitro in blood-treated circulation. Blood samples were taken at 0, 5, 15, and 30 min during the HD therapy. We also assessed osmotic fragility, hematocrit, hemolysis, and oxidative stress as a concentration of reactive thiobarbituric acid substances (TBARS). Our results have shown that RBC membrane peroxidation increased significantly after 30 min of circulation, whereas the TBARS level in NIR-treated blood remained relatively steady throughout the experiment. The osmotic fragility of NIR-irradiated samples during dialysis was decreased compared to control samples. Our studies confirm that in vitro, blood photobiomodulation using NIR light diminishes oxidative damage during HD and can be considered a simultaneous pretreatment strategy for HD. Full article
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Article
Management of Periodontal Disease with Adjunctive Therapy with Ozone and Photobiomodulation (PBM): A Randomized Clinical Trial
Photonics 2022, 9(3), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics9030138 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 807
Abstract
Periodontitis is an inflammatory condition of the soft and hard tooth-supporting tissues, representing the first cause of tooth loss. In addition to standard mechanical debridement (Scaling and Root Planing, SRP), further approaches have been proposed as adjuncts. The aim of the present randomized [...] Read more.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory condition of the soft and hard tooth-supporting tissues, representing the first cause of tooth loss. In addition to standard mechanical debridement (Scaling and Root Planing, SRP), further approaches have been proposed as adjuncts. The aim of the present randomized clinical trial is to compare the efficacy of ozone or photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy in addition to SRP to treat periodontal disease. According to a split-mouth design, 240 pathological sites, corresponding to 30 periodontal patients, were randomly divided according to the professional oral hygiene protocol performed at baseline (T0) and after 1 (T1), 2 (T2), 3 (T3), 4 (T4), 5 (T5), and 6 (T6) months. A total of 120 sites underwent an ozonized water administration (ozone group), whereas the other 120 sites were treated with photobiomodulation (PBM group), both in addition to SRP. At every timepoint, the following clinical indexes were assessed: Probing Pocket Depth (PPD) (measured on six sites per element), Plaque Index (PI), and Bleeding on Probing (BOP). As regards PPD, significant intergroup differences were noticed from T5, with significantly lower values in the PBM group (p < 0.05), where values further decreased at T6 (p < 0.05). Both PI and BoP generally decreased from baseline to T6 in both groups; a significant difference was found between T0 and T1 among the groups (p < 0.05), with a progressively higher reduction in the PBM group among the time frames of the study, despite intergroup comparisons not being significant (p > 0.05). Both ozone and PBM appear to be effective adjuvant treatments to SRP, obtaining a slightly better outcome for the latter in the long term, with significant differences at T5 and T6 for PPD. However, because of the absence of standardized protocols for PBM considering both therapeutic and research purposes, no definitive conclusions can be reached, and further studies are required. Full article
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Article
The Efficacy of Photobiomodulation Therapy in Improving Tissue Resilience and Healing of Radiation Skin Damage
Photonics 2022, 9(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics9010010 - 28 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
The increased precision, efficacy, and safety of radiation brachytherapy has tremendously improved its popularity in cancer care. However, an unfortunate side effect of this therapy involves localized skin damage and breakdown that are managed palliatively currently. This study was motivated by prior reports [...] Read more.
The increased precision, efficacy, and safety of radiation brachytherapy has tremendously improved its popularity in cancer care. However, an unfortunate side effect of this therapy involves localized skin damage and breakdown that are managed palliatively currently. This study was motivated by prior reports on the efficacy of photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy in improving tissue resilience and wound healing. We evaluated the efficacy of PBM therapy on 36 athymic mice with 125I seed (0.42 mCi) implantation over 60 days. PBM treatments were performed with either red (660 nm) or near-infrared (880 nm, NIR) LEDs irradiance of 40 mW/cm2, continuous wave, fluence of 20 J/cm2 once per week. Animals were evaluated every 7 days with digital imaging, laser Doppler flowmetry, thermal imaging, µPET-CT imaging using 18F-FDG, and histology. We observed that both PBM treatments—red and NIR—demonstrated significantly less incidence and severity and improved healing with skin radionecrosis. Radiation exposed tissues had improved functional parameters such as vascular perfusion, reduced inflammation, and metabolic derangement following PBM therapy. Histological analysis confirmed these observations with minimal damage and resolution in tissues exposed to radiation. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the successful use of PBM therapy for brachytherapy. The results from this study support future mechanistic lab studies and controlled human clinical studies to utilize this innovative therapy in managing side effects from radiation cancer treatments. Full article
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Article
The Effect of 630 nm Photobiomodulation on the Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Human Gingival Fibroblasts
Photonics 2021, 8(9), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics8090360 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Periodontal disease is the most common oral chronic inflammatory disease in humans. Recent studies have indicated that red light Photobiomodulation (PBM) could inhibit cell inflammation effectively, but the effect of different doses of PBM on the treatment of inflammation has to be improved. [...] Read more.
Periodontal disease is the most common oral chronic inflammatory disease in humans. Recent studies have indicated that red light Photobiomodulation (PBM) could inhibit cell inflammation effectively, but the effect of different doses of PBM on the treatment of inflammation has to be improved. Thus, this study was aimed to investigate the effects of various doses of PBM (630 ± 30 nm, (1) 5 mW/cm2, 1 J/cm2, 200 s; (2) 5 mW/cm2, 3 J/cm2, 600 s; (3) 5 mW/cm2, 9 J/cm2, 1800 s; (4) 5 mW/cm2, 18 J/cm2, 3600 s; (5) 5 mW/cm2,36 J/cm2, 7200 s) on the anti-inflammatory response of human gingival fibroblasts. Our results suggested that PBM (630 ± 30 nm) with doses of 18 J/cm2 and 36 J/cm2 could significantly inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines such as Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and IL-8, presumably due to the fact that a high dose of PBM treatment could reduce intracellular Reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human gingival fibroblasts, thus reducing the expression of COX-2 enzyme. In addition, it was found that treatment with different doses of PBM (630 ± 30 nm) did not result in reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial dysfunction in human gingival fibroblasts. Our study provides a theoretical reference for the selection of PBM parameters and the application of PBM in the clinical treatment of periodontitis. Full article
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Article
The Efficacy of Phototherapy for the Treatment of Onychomycosis: An Observational Study
Photonics 2021, 8(9), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics8090350 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 729
Abstract
(1) Background: Onychomycosis accounts for 50% of nail pathologies and is a therapeutic challenge due to an increase in resistance to antifungal agents. This study aimed to explore the effectiveness of 1064 nm diode laser irradiation for the treatment of Onychomycosis and establish [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Onychomycosis accounts for 50% of nail pathologies and is a therapeutic challenge due to an increase in resistance to antifungal agents. This study aimed to explore the effectiveness of 1064 nm diode laser irradiation for the treatment of Onychomycosis and establish a new set of laser parameters for effective and safe treatment; (2) Methods: An exploratory, single-blinded study was conducted on forty-five patients with toenail Onychomycosis. Digital images and nail clippings were taken for Periodic Acid-Schiff (PAS) staining and fungal microscopy and culture (MC&S). Group 1 received 5% topical Amorolfine lacquer to apply to affected nails. Group 2 received 1064 nm diode laser treatment at 10 mW/s, hallux 790 J/cm2 and lesser digits 390 J/cm2 (standard treatment). Group 3 received 1064 nm diode laser treatment at 10 mW/s, hallux 1 100 J/cm2 and lesser digits 500 J/cm2 (new treatment parameters). After laser treatment, nail temperatures were taken with a surface thermometer; (3) Results: PAS staining was more sensitive in identifying Onychomycosis (91.1%), compared to Fungal Microscopy (44.4%). Comparing treatment requirements over a period of 24 weeks, there was a statistical significance, p ≤ 0.01 (**), for standard laser treatment and, p ≤ 0.001 (***), for new laser parameter treatment, indicating treatment needed over time decreased. No adverse effects were noted with new laser therapy. An 86.7% visual improvement was noted in Group 3 after 24 weeks; (4) Conclusions: Phototherapy, or photo thermolysis, was the best treatment option for Onychomycosis. A new protocol for the standardization of laser irradiation with the possible inclusion into the Scoring Clinical Index for Onychomycosis treatment plan, was proposed. Full article
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Article
Recovery from Idiopathic Facial Paralysis (Bell’s Palsy) Using Photobiomodulation in Patients Non-Responsive to Standard Treatment: A Case Series Study
Photonics 2021, 8(8), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics8080341 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Diminished facial movement and marked facial asymmetry can lead to a consistent psychological burden. Bell′s palsy (BP) is one of the most common causes of facial nerve illness, which comes with unilateral acute facial paresis. Nowadays, no clear guidelines for treating BP are [...] Read more.
Diminished facial movement and marked facial asymmetry can lead to a consistent psychological burden. Bell′s palsy (BP) is one of the most common causes of facial nerve illness, which comes with unilateral acute facial paresis. Nowadays, no clear guidelines for treating BP are available. We carried out a case series study to test the efficacy of photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy in patients with BP non-responsive to standard treatment. The study was experimentally performed at the Department of Surgical and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Genoa (Genoa, Italy), in accordance with case report guidelines. Patients were referred to our department by colleagues for evaluation to be included in the case series because no consistent improvement was observed at least 3 months from the diagnosis of BP. All the patients interrupted their pharmacological therapy before the initiation of PBM therapy. PBM therapy (808 nm, 1 W irradiated in continuous-wave for 60 s on spot-size 1 cm2; 1 W/cm2; 60 J/cm2; and 60 J) was administered every 2 days until complete resolution. Evaluation of the House-Brackmann scale was performed before and after treatments. Fourteen patients were screened as eligible for the study. Patients were Caucasians (36% females and 64% males) with a mean age ± standard deviation of 56.07 ± 15.21 years. Eleven patients out of 14, who experienced BP a maximum of 6 months, completely recovered through PBM. The three patients that did not show improvement were those who had experienced BP for years. PBM could be a supportive therapy for the management of BP in patients non-responsive to standard treatment. However, randomized controlled trials are necessary to sustain our encouraging results, exclude bias, and better explain the boundary between the time from diagnosis and the recovery of BP through PBM therapy. Full article
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Review

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Review
Can Photobiomodulation Support the Management of Temporomandibular Joint Pain? Molecular Mechanisms and a Systematic Review of Human Clinical Trials
Photonics 2022, 9(6), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics9060420 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 308
Abstract
This study aims to point out the correlation between photobiomodulation (PBM) targets and effects and management of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) pain using diode lasers with infrared wavelengths ranging from 780 up to 980 nanometers (nm). A systematic search of multiple electronic databases was [...] Read more.
This study aims to point out the correlation between photobiomodulation (PBM) targets and effects and management of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) pain using diode lasers with infrared wavelengths ranging from 780 up to 980 nanometers (nm). A systematic search of multiple electronic databases was done to identify the clinical trials published between 1st January 2010 and 18th December 2021. The included studies were limited to human subjects who had TMD pain, involving two genders with age > 18 years, and were treated with PBM using a diode laser (780–980 nm) as a non-pharmacological therapy to decrease the intensity of the pain associated to TMDs. The risk of bias for included studies was assessed using the Cochrane RoB tool (for randomized studies). The methodologic quality was rated using the Delphi list. The findings suggest that PBM is an effective tool in alleviating TMDs’ pain and increasing the range of movement in patients with Axis 1 of TMDs. However, TMDs’ pain related to underlying pathology cannot be solely treated by PBM. The causative factors must be treated first. Studies displaying the highest quality Delphi score may represent a suggested PBM therapy protocol to follow for TMDs pain management. Full article
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Review
Transcranial Photobiomodulation Therapy for Sexual Dysfunction Associated with Depression or Induced by Antidepressant Medications
Photonics 2022, 9(5), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics9050330 - 11 May 2022
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Sexual dysfunction (SD) is frequently encountered in patients suffering from depression. There is a bidirectional relationship between various types of SD and depression, so the presence or treatment of one condition may exacerbate or improve the other condition. The most frequent sexual problem [...] Read more.
Sexual dysfunction (SD) is frequently encountered in patients suffering from depression. There is a bidirectional relationship between various types of SD and depression, so the presence or treatment of one condition may exacerbate or improve the other condition. The most frequent sexual problem in untreated depressed patients is declining sexual desire, while in treated depressed patients it is difficulties with erection/ejaculation and with orgasm. Numerous classes of neuropsychiatric medications, commonly used in depressed patients—such as antidepressant, antipsychotic, alpha sympathetic, and opioid drugs—may cause SD. Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, also called low-level light/laser therapy, is a novel neuromodulation technique for neuropsychiatric conditions, such as depression. Transcranial PBM (tPBM) targets the cellular metabolism—through the mitochondrial respiratory enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase—and has numerous cellular and physiological beneficial effects on the central nervous system. This paper represents a comprehensive review of the application of tPBM to SD, coexisting with depression or induced by antidepressant medications. Full article
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