A faster healing process was observed in superficial skin wounds after irradiation with the EMOLED photocoagulator.
The instrument consists of a compact handheld photocoagulation device, useful for inducing coagulation in superficial
abrasions. The illumination is provided by a high power blue LED. Blue light is selectively absorbed by haemoglobin
and converted into heat through a photothermal effect. In this study, 10 Sprague Dawley rats were mechanically abraded
in four regions of their back: two regions were used as a control and the other two were treated with EMOLED. The
photothermal effect was monitored by an infrared thermocamera in order to avoid accidental thermal damage. Visual
observations, histopathological analysis and non-linear microscopic imaging performed after 8 days from the treatment
showed no adverse reactions and no thermal damage in both treated areas and surrounding tissues. Moreover, a faster
healing process and a better-recovered morphology was evidenced in the treated tissue with respect to the untreated
tissue. Compared to the control regions, a reduced inflammatory response, a higher collagen content, and a skin
morphology more similar to normal skin were observed in the treated regions. Collagen organization in the two regions
was characterized using image pattern analysis algorithms on SHG images, demonstrating a fully recovered aspect of
dermis as well as a faster neocollagenesis in the treated regions. This study demonstrates that the selective photothermal
effect we used for inducing immediate coagulation in superficial wounds is associated to a minimal inflammatory
response, which provides reduced recovery times and improved healing process.