LEDs appear to affect cellular metabolism by triggering intracellular photobiochemical reactions. Observed effects include increased ATP (Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short, is the energy currency of life. ATP is a high-energy molecule found in every cell. Its job is to store and supply the cell with needed energy)., modulation of reactive oxygen species, the induction of transcription factors, alteration of collagen synthesis, stimulation of angiogenesis, and increased blood flow.2
Red LEDs specifically have been shown to activate fibroblast growth factor, increase type 1 pro-collagen, increase matrix metallo-proteinase-9 (MMP-9), and decrease MMP-1. An increase in fibroblast number and a mild inflammatory infiltrate following exposure has been demonstrated histologically.3,4
Photomodulated yellow light alters ATP production, gene expression, and fibroblast activity.5-7 Increased ATP production is thought to be mediated via the absorption of photons by mitochondrial protoporphyrin IX. Interestingly, only photomodulated yellow LED has been shown to produce a tissue response implying that the light’s ability to affect cells is dependent on the number and pattern of photon delivery.8
Blue light appears to exert its effect on acne via its influence on Propionibacterium acnes and its antiinflammatory properties. P. acnes contains naturally occurring porphyrins, mainly coproporphyrin and protoporphyrin IX. Absorption of blue light by these molecules is believed to induce a natural photodynamic therapy (PDT) effect with destruction of the bacteria via the formation of oxygen free radicals. Blue light’s anti-inflammatory effect appears to be the result of a shift in cytokine production.
Near infrared light, also known as monochromatic infrared energy (MIRE), is believed to stimulate circulation by inducing the release of guanylate cyclase and nitrous oxide, which, in turn, promotes vasodilation and growth factor production as well as angiogenesis, leading to subsequent wound healing. This is used alot with the Wounded Warriors because it is a safe and effective method of healing wounds and helping with pain maintenance.
Our clients love this part of their treatment!