Red Light Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury: Innovative Research and Promising Results | Lumitter

Red Light Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury: Innovative Research and Promising Results | Lumitter

Red Light Therapy Demonstrates Promise in Spinal Cord Injury Models

Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) could benefit from future treatment to repair nerve connections using red and near-infrared light. This innovative method—invented by University of Birmingham scientists and patented by University of Birmingham Enterprise—delivers light directly to the site of the injury.

Groundbreaking Research

Surgery after SCI is common, and as stated in a University of Birmingham Enterprise press release, this concept may offer surgeons the opportunity—during the same operation—to implant a device that could help protect and repair the spinal cord itself.

Research now published in Bioengineering and Translational Medicine has determined an optimal ‘dose’ for this novel approach, showing it can deliver therapeutic improvements, including significant restoration of sensation and movement, and regeneration of damaged nerve cells.

Leading the Charge

Led by Dr. Zubair Ahmed, researchers used cell models of SCI to determine the frequency and duration of light required to achieve maximum restoration of function and stimulate nerve cell regrowth. They found that delivery at a wavelength of 660 nm for one minute a day increased cell viability—the number of live cells—by 45% across five days of treatment.

“The effect of 660 nm light was both neuroprotective, meaning it improved survival of nerve cells, and neuroregenerative, meaning it stimulated nerve cell growth,” Ahmed explained.


Preclinical Success

The researchers also investigated the effect of light therapy in preclinical models of SCI, using both an implantable device and transcutaneous delivery with the light source placed against the skin. They showed comparable results for both methods, with a one-minute dose of 660 nm light delivered daily for seven days resulting in reduced tissue scarring, increased levels of proteins associated with nerve cell regeneration, improvements in the connections between cells, and significant functional recovery.

This study marks the first time transcutaneous and direct light delivery have been compared in SCI, according to the recent press release.

“To make light therapy viable for treating SCI in humans, an implantable device will be required, to provide line of sight to damaged tissue and the opportunity for greater accuracy, and standardize dosing without impedance due to the thickness of the skin and other tissues surrounding the spinal cord,” Ahmed added.

The Path Ahead

The researchers are now planning to develop an implantable device for use in humans with traumatic SCI. They have already received further funding and are seeking commercial partners or investors to develop a prototype device to take into first-in-human clinical trials.

Lumitter’s Commitment

At Lumitter, we are dedicated to advancing red light therapy to improve the lives of individuals with SCI and other health conditions. Our state-of-the-art devices harness the power of red and near-infrared light to promote healing and regeneration. As pioneers in this field, we stay at the forefront of research and innovation to deliver effective, evidence-based solutions to our users.

For more information on the benefits of red light therapy and to explore our range of products, visit our website and follow us on social media. Stay informed and join the conversation about the future of health and wellness with Lumitter.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can Lumitter's red light therapy devices be integrated into the treatment plans for spinal cord injury patients?

Lumitter's red light therapy devices can be integrated into treatment plans for spinal cord injury (SCI) patients by providing a non-invasive, complementary therapy that promotes nerve regeneration and reduces tissue scarring. These devices can be used post-surgery to enhance recovery, with treatments involving daily sessions where red light is applied directly to the site of the injury. Clinical protocols would be developed in collaboration with healthcare providers to ensure optimal dosing and duration, tailored to the specific needs of each patient. This approach can help improve sensation and movement in affected areas, supporting overall rehabilitation efforts.

What other medical conditions could benefit from the advancements in red light therapy technology?


Red light therapy has shown promise in treating a variety of medical conditions beyond spinal cord injuries. Some of the conditions that could benefit include:

  • Chronic Pain: Red light therapy can reduce inflammation and promote healing, making it effective for managing chronic pain conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
  • Wound Healing: It accelerates the healing process for wounds, ulcers, and surgical incisions by promoting tissue repair and reducing inflammation.
  • Skin Conditions: Red light therapy is beneficial for treating acne, psoriasis, and eczema, improving skin health and appearance.
  • Muscle Recovery: Athletes and individuals with muscle injuries can use red light therapy to enhance muscle recovery and reduce soreness.
  • Neurological Disorders: Emerging research suggests potential benefits for conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease due to its neuroprotective effects.
Q: How does the introduction of an implantable device improve the accuracy and effectiveness of red light therapy treatments?


The introduction of an implantable device for red light therapy significantly enhances both accuracy and effectiveness by delivering targeted therapy directly to the injured area. This method ensures consistent and precise dosing, which is critical for optimal therapeutic outcomes. Implantable devices provide several key advantages:

  • Direct Access: They allow for direct light delivery to the site of injury, bypassing barriers such as skin and other tissues that can impede light penetration in transcutaneous methods.
  • Controlled Dosing: Implantable devices can be programmed to deliver precise doses at optimal intervals, ensuring consistent and effective treatment.
  • Reduced Interference: By being implanted, these devices avoid issues related to the movement of external light sources, maintaining a stable treatment environment.
  • Enhanced Monitoring: Implantable devices can be integrated with sensors to monitor tissue response in real-time, allowing for adjustments to therapy as needed for improved outcomes.

These advancements make red light therapy more effective and reliable, paving the way for its use in treating complex conditions like spinal cord injuries.