The effect of photobiomodulation on human dental pulp-derived stem cells: systematic review

Lasers Med Sci. 2020 Dec;35(9):1889-1897. doi: 10.1007/s10103-020-03071-6. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


This systematic review assessed if photobiomodulation of human dental pulp tissue improved cell viability, proliferation, and/or differentiation compared with a placebo. This systematic review was conducted in line with PRISMA. PICO question was established; inclusion and exclusion criteria were established before a search had begun. A literature search was conducted through PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane. Studies were included if published within the last 20 years in English language, or where translation was available; laser parameters were mentioned; human dental pulp tissue was studied in vitro. Studies were excluded if non-human dental pulp tissue was studied and where the study was an in vivo study. Out of the total 121 studies found, 109 were excluded. Of the twelve included studies, three full-text articles were not available despite attempts made to contact the respective authors, leaving nine studies. Four of the included studies reported the use of stem cells derived from human deciduous teeth (SHEDs), and five used those from human permanent teeth (DPSCs). Most included studies utilized InGaAlP laser with wavelengths 660 nm, and one study with 610 nm. Other types of lasers included LED InGaN, and GaAlAs. Out of all included studies, two had a moderate risk of bias, and the rest had a low risk of bias. All studies confirmed positive effects on proliferation. One study also found improved osteogenic differentiation of the stem cells derived from stem cells of deciduous teeth. After assessing SHEDs and DPSCs separately, it is found that photobiomodulation improved cell proliferation in both subgroups. Due to heterogeneity in design protocols and laser parameters, it was not possible to compare the studies together. However, this study indicated that cell viability and proliferation did improve with photobiomodulation.

Keywords: DPSCs; Laser phototherapy; Mesenchymal stem cells; SHEDs; Tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dental Pulp / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Publication Bias
  • Risk
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / cytology