Recently we proposed to use optoacoustic therapy/Nano-Pulse Laser Therapy-NPLT and tested it in rats with traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this study we used an optoacoustic system operating at 808 nm and demonstrated that NPLT prevented TBI-induced upregulation of specific microRNAs (miRNAs) in NSC and significantly decreased TBI-induced impaired maturation and abnormal migration of neural progenitors. Moreover, NPLT-treated injured rats performed significantly better in hippocampus-dependent cognitive tests than did sham rats. Our results strongly suggest that NPLT has the potential to be an effective tool for the treatment of TBI-induced cognitive dysfunction and dysregulation of neurogenesis.
Optoacoustic diagnostics is based on detection and analysis of optoacoustic waves induced in tissues. It may find a number of important clinical applications in large populations of patients such as diagnostics of cerebral hypoxia, circulatory shock, etc. Recently, we proposed Nano-Pulse Laser Therapy (NPLT) which utilizes short optical pulses (typically, shorter than hundreds of nanoseconds) to generate optoacoustic waves in tissues upon stress-confined irradiation. It is well known that continuous wave low-level near-infrared light can be used for therapy/photobiomodulation to stimulate, repair, regenerate, and protect injured tissue. In the past few years, new works emerged on therapeutic effects of low-intensity ultrasound waves. The NPLT consists of irradiating tissue by both lowlevel light and optoacoustic waves/ultrasound that combines merits of low-level light and ultrasound therapies. In this work we propose optoacoustic theranostics that can be used for diagnostics, optoacoustic therapy/NPLT, and monitoring of therapeutic response during and after therapy. We developed and built pulsed, tunable, near infrared (680-1064 nm), fiber-coupled systems for optoacoustic theranostics and tested them in rats with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Low energy pulses were used for optoacoustic monitoring of cerebral blood oxygenation, while higher energy pulses were used for the NPLT. Our studies show that TBI results in cerebral hypoxia, while a 5-minute transcranial application of NPLT significantly reduces negative effects of TBI as assessed by vestibulomotor, cognitive, and immunofluorescence tests. The obtained results suggest that the optoacoustic theranostics may be used for diagnostics and management of TBI and other disorders.