Collagen and elastic fibers, abstract and studies

Combining Therapeutic Laser and Herbal Remedy for Treating Ligament Injury:

An Ultrastructural Morphological Study

Gabriel Y.F. Ng, P.T., Ph.D., and Dicky T.C. Fung, P.T., Ph.D.


Objective: We examined the ultrastructural morphology (number of collagen fibrils, mean and mass-averaged diameter) of isolated and combined treatments of a therapeutic laser and herbs for medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury in rats.

Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight rats, divided into seven groups: laser (L), herb (H), laser herb (LH), laser control (LC), herb control (HC), laser sham (LS) and herb sham (HS), were studied. Right MCL of groups L, H, LH, LC and HC were transected, while that of LS and HS remained intact. Group L received 9 treatment sessions of GaAlAs laser with a dosage of 3.5 Jcm2; group H received herbal plaster treatment; groups LH had combined treatments of laser and herb; group LC had placebo laser; group LS had no treatment; groups HC and HS received only bandage without herb. All MCLs were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy at 3 weeks.

Results: Differences (p  0.05) existed in mean fibril diameters among groups. Core mass-averaged diameters of groups L and H were larger than the control groups (LC and HC). Fibril diameter of group LH (combined treatment) was even larger and approaching that of the intact MCL.

Conclusion: Combined therapeutic laser and herbal treatment hastened collagen fibril maturation in MCL repair.

The influence of low-level laser therapy on biomodulation of collagen and elastic fibers
Pugliese LS, Medrado AP, Reis SR, Andrade Zde A.
Pesqui Odontol Bras. 2003 Oct-Dec;17(4):307-13. Epub 2004 Apr 19.

Department of Basic Science, Foundation for the Development of Science, Salvador. The study of low-level laser therapy upon extracellular matrix elements is important to understand the wound healing process under this agent. However, little is known about the interference of laser light in relation to collagen and elastic fibers. Cutaneous wounds were performed on the back of 72 Wistar rats and a Ga-Al-As low-level laser was punctually applied with different energy densities. The animals were killed after 24, 48, 72 hours and 5, 7 and 14 days. Tissues were stained with hematoxilin-eosin, sirius red fast green and orcein and then analyzed. It was observed that the treated group exhibited larger reduction of edema and inflammatory infiltrate. The treated animals presented a larger expression of collagen and elastic fibers, although without statistical significance (p > 0.05). Treatment with a dosage of 4 J/cm(2) exhibited more expressive results than that with 8 J/cm(2).

In this study, the authors concluded that low-level laser therapy contributed to a larger expression of collagen and elastic fibers during the early phases of the wound healing process.

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