Laboratory methods for evaluating the effect of low level laser therapy (LLLT) in wound healing

  • D Hawkins Faculty of Health, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2028
  • H Abrahamse Faculty of Health, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2028

Abstract

The basic tenet of laser therapy is that laser radiation has a wavelength dependent capability to alter cellular behaviour in the absence of significant heating. Low intensity radiation can inhibit as well as stimulate cellular activity. Laser therapy typically involves the delivery of 1-4J/cm 2 to treatments sites with lasers having output powers between 10mW and 90mW. There are two major areas of laser therapy research: the laboratory and the clinic. The laboratory presents the least ambiguous results. Here, although unsupported results do appear, the vast majority of published work finds clear evidence that laser irradiation alters cellular processes in a nonthermal, wavelength-dependent manner. Low energy laser irradiation alters the cellular function by effecting protein synthesis, cell growth and differentiation, cell motility, membrane potential and binding affinities, neurotransmitter release, ATP synthesis and prostaglandin synthesis. Laboratory findings provide scientific rati onale of laser therapy and the effect of laser therapy on cellular processes. This review outlines some of the current methods employed in the laboratory to measure the effect of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on cellular and molecular processes in the cell. This review briefly explains the different structural, cellular and molecular parameters and highlights some of the basic principles and protocols including specialized equipment requirements.

Keywords: low level laser therapy, wound healing, laboratory, cellular, molecular

African Journal of Biomedical Research Vol. 8(1) 2005: 1-14
Published
2006-09-14
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1119-5096