Influence of the combination of infrared and red laser light on the healing of cutaneous wounds infected by Staphylococcus aureus

Photomed Laser Surg. 2011 Mar;29(3):177-82. doi: 10.1089/pho.2009.2749. Epub 2011 Jan 8.


Aim: We aimed to assess the use of two wavelengths on the healing of infected wounds.

Background: Infection is the most significant cause of impaired wound repair or healing. Several therapeutic approaches are used for improving wound healing including the use of different light sources, such as the laser. Some wavelengths yield positive photobiological effects on the healing process.

Material and methods: The backs of 24 young adult male Wistar rats under general anesthesia were shaved and cleaned, and a 1 by 1 cm cutaneous wound was created with a scalpel and left untreated. The wounds were infected with Staphylococcus aureus, and the rats were randomly divided into two sets of four subgroups with three animals in each subgroup: control, red laser light, infrared laser light, and red + infrared laser light. Laser phototherapy was carried out with a diode [λ680 nm/790 nm, power (P) = 30 mW/40 mW, continuous wave laser, Ø = 3 mm, power density (P) = 424 and 566 mW/cm(2), time = 11.8/8.8 sec, E = 0.35 J] and started immediately after surgery and repeated every other day for 7 d. Laser light was applied on four points around the wounded area (5 J/cm(2)). The animals were killed either 8 or 15 d after contamination. Specimens were taken, embedded in paraffin, and sectioned and stained for histological analysis.

Results: Histological analysis showed that control subjects had a lower amount of blood vessels when compared with irradiated subjects. Irradiated subjects had more advanced resolution of inflammation compared with controls. Irradiated subjects also showed a more intense expression of the collagen matrix. The collagen fibers were mostly mature and well organized in these subjects at the end of the experimental time especially when both wavelengths were used.

Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that laser phototherapy has a positive effect on the healing of infected wounds, particularly with the association of λ680 + λ790 nm.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infrared Rays / therapeutic use
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Photomicrography
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Staphylococcal Infections / radiotherapy*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / microbiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology*