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The non-invasive nature of laser biostimulation has made lasers an attractive alternative …

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- Design and testing of low intensity laser biostimulator

Nowadays lasers are widely used in therapy and diagnostics. They have been adapted to many medical procedures ranging from surgery, oncology, physiotherapy, dentistry, dermatology and biostimulation. The non-invasive nature of laser biostimulation have made lasers an attractive alternative in Medical Acupuncture at the last 25 years. Unfortunately, there is still an uncertainty as to whether they work or their effect is just placebo. Although a plethora of scientific papers published about the topic showing positive clinical results, there is still a lack of objective scientific proofs about the biostimulation effect of lasers in Medical Acupuncture.

The properties of acupuncture points, considered here as small localized biosources (SLB), have been extensively studied over the past 50 years. Research has shown SLB to be small area body regions, which exhibit unique, electrical, physiological and anatomical properties (e.g. high density of gap junctions, relatively low impedance etc.). They are considered to form groups, each group being arranged along a line, called meridian and related to an internal organ [1-4]. SLBs appear to be highly sensitive to mechanical, thermal, electrical or electromagnetic stimulation and are found to take place from the epidermis to a maximum depth of 2 cm [5-8]. It has been shown that with proper laser wavelength, intensity and collimation, low-level laser energy could be effectively delivered to SLB up to a 10 mm beneath the skin surface [9].

The objective of this work was to design and build a low cost portable laser device for effectively stimulation of SLB without exciting sensory nerves, and to find out a suitable method for objectively evaluating its efficiency. The attempt to define the optimal device parameters was based on the SLB properties, data about existing devices for low level laser therapy and on preliminary measurements performed in our laboratory. The latter suggest that the effect of SLB stimulation is also dependent on the polarization of the coherent emission in addition to its intensity, wavelength and modulation frequency. Therefore the device should provide a polarization adjustment, wide range of modulation frequencies, precise power settings and to have minimum size and cost.

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