LED irradiation: A breakthrough in otitis media treatment

Jan 25, 2024

Red and near-infrared LED irradiation shows promise in treating otitis media (OM), a middle ear inflammatory condition. By applying this treatment in a rat model and cell lines, researchers observed a significant reduction in ear mucosal thickness, inflammatory cells, and pro-inflammatory cytokines. The treatment works by blocking MAPK signalling, offering a potential new therapeutic approach for OM.

February 2023 – Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology


Key takeaways


  • Reduction of inflammation in otitis media: The use of red and near-infrared LED irradiation demonstrates a notable decrease in inflammation associated with otitis media. This is particularly relevant for ageing populations, as inflammation is a key factor in the progression and severity of age-related diseases
  • Decrease in mucosal thickness: The therapy significantly reduces the thickness of the middle ear mucosa. Thickening of the mucosa is a common issue in elderly individuals suffering from chronic ear infections and inflammations, making this treatment potentially beneficial in managing such conditions in older adults
  • Lowering pro-inflammatory cytokines: The treatment effectively lowers levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. These cytokines are commonly associated with chronic inflammation and are known to increase with age, contributing to various age-related diseases. By reducing these cytokines, the treatment could help in mitigating inflammation-related ageing processes
  • Blocking MAPK signalling: The ability of the LED irradiation therapy to inhibit MAPK signaling pathway is significant. This pathway plays a crucial role in cellular responses to stress and inflammation. Its blockade suggests that this treatment could be a promising approach for managing not just otitis media but also other age-related inflammatory conditions where MAPK signaling is implicated


Read the article at: Ko, Yoo-Seung et al. “Dual red and near-infrared light-emitting diode irradiation ameliorates LPS-induced otitis media in a rat model.” Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology vol. 11 1099574. 22 Feb. 2023, doi:10.3389/fbioe.2023.1099574