NEW YORK — Light therapy helps heal burn injuries faster by triggering growth protein, a new study by the University at Buffalo has revealed.
The study was published in an online peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.
Burn injuries are estimated to affect over 6 million people every year worldwide. These injuries cause significant morbidity (infections and scarring) and mortality associated with burn injuries, as per the researchers.
“Aggressive clinical management guidelines have been developed based on the severity of burns, such as total body surface area, depth, and co-morbidities,” as per the study.
“These strategies focus explicitly on the fundamental burn injury pathophysiology that evokes a range of thermal and cellular stress damage responses along with a prominent inflammatory sequela.”
The study further said that photobiomodulation therapy speeds up recovery from burns and reduced inflammation in mice by activating endogenous TGF-beta 1, a protein that controls cell growth and division.
Photobiomodulation therapy is a low-dose light therapy capable of relieving pain and promoting healing and tissue regeneration.
“The findings may impact treatments for burn injuries, which affect more than 6 million people worldwide each year,” said lead researcher Praveen Arany, DDS, Ph.D., assistant professor of oral biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine.
“Photobiomodulation therapy has been effectively used in supportive cancer care, age-related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease. A common feature among these ailments is the central role of inflammation.”
“This work provides evidence for the ability of photobiomodulation-activated TGF-beta 1 in mitigating the inflammation while promoting tissue regeneration utilizing an elegant, transgenic burn wound model,” he said.
The study measured the effect of photobiomodulation on the closure of third-degree burns over nine days.
The treatment triggered TGF-beta 1, which stimulated various cell types involved in healing, including fibroblasts (the primary connective tissue cells of the body that play an essential role in tissue repair) and macrophages (immune cells that lower inflammation, clean cell debris, and fight infection).
The researchers also developed a precise burn healing protocol for photobiomodulation treatments to ensure additional thermal injuries are not inadvertently generated by laser use.
The effectiveness of photobiomodulation in treating pain and stimulating healing has been documented in hundreds of clinical trials and thousands of academic papers.
The therapy was recently recommended as a standard treatment for pain relief from cancer-associated oral mucositis (inflammation and lesions in the mouth) by the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer, an international multidisciplinary organization dedicated to research and education in all aspects of supportive care for people with cancer regardless of the stage of their disease.
The other researchers of the study are Imran Khan, Ph.D., first author and staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute; Saeed Ur Rahman, Ph.D., assistant professor at Khyber Medical University, Peshawar and Elieza Tang, DDS, dentist.
Further, Karl Engel, the senior field clinical specialist at Abbott; Bradford Hall, Ph.D., staff scientist, and Ashok Kulkarni, Ph.D., senior investigator at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, also contributed as co-authors to the study.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra