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For release: 11-13-03
Photo release #: 03-199

Light emitting diodes bring relief to young cancer patients; NASA technology used for plant growth now in clinical trials

Glowing red light emitted by light-emitting diodes.Large 1712 x 1368 (300)
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Healing power of light. Glowing red light emitted by light-emitting diodes or LEDs has been used to grow plants on NASA's Space Shuttle. Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and several other U.S. and foreign hospitals are using this near-infrared light, now in the second phase of clinical trials, to promote wound healing. (NASA/MSFC photo by B. Himelhoch, Medical Center Graphics Inc.)

 

Portable, flat array of light-emitting diodes, or LEDsLarge 1712 x 1368 (300)
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Wound healing device. The wound-healing device made by Quantum Devices Inc. in Barneveld, Wis., is a small 3.5-inch by 4.5-inch (90 by 145-millimeter) portable, flat array of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. A nurse practitioner places the LED array on the outside of a patient's cheek where it shines for just over a minute each day, promoting wound healing and preventing mouth sores caused by radiation and chemotherapy. Quantum Devices, the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and researchers at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee are conducting the multi-year project through a contract with the Technology Transfer Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. (NASA/MSFC photo by B. Himelhoch, Medical Center Graphics Inc.)

 

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Light-emitting diodes promote cell growth. Skin, bone and muscle cells grown in cultures are exposed to the same light-emitting diodes used to treat wounds in patients and grow plants in space. Biologists at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee have shown that cells exposed to the near-infrared light grow 150 to 200 percent faster than ground control cells not stimulated by the light. Through a research project funded by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., scientists are trying to learn more about the way cells convert light to energy and identify the wavelengths of light that are most effective at stimulating growth. (NASA/MSFC photo by B. Himelhoch, Medical Center Graphics Inc.)

 

Ellen Buchmann, a molecular biologist at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. conducts LED research.Large 1280 x 960 (300)
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Three types of red light. Ellen Buchmann, a molecular biologist at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, is conducting research to investigate how infrared energy from light-emitting diodes influences the growth of cells. Doctors are examining how this infrared energy promotes wound healing. Three rows of glowing light-emitting diodes release energy at specific wavelengths. Different cells, such as skin, bone and muscle cells, respond differently to various wavelengths or energy levels of light. The light can penetrate tissue to a depth of up to 9 inches (23 centimeters). Quantum Devices Inc., of Barneveld, Wis., manufactures the light-emitting diode units as part of a contract through the Technology Transfer Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. (NASA/MSFC/T. McMahan)


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