The effect of polarized light on the organization of collagen secreted by fibroblasts

Dana Akilbekova, Anuraag Boddupalli, Kaitlin M. Bratlie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect of low-power lasers and polarized light on wound healing, inflammation, and the treatment of rheumatologic and neurologic disorders. The overall effect of laser irradiation treatment is still controversial due to the lack of studies on the biochemical mechanisms and the optimal parameters for the incident light that should be chosen for particular applications. Here, we study how NIH/3T3 fibroblasts respond to irradiation with linearly polarized light at different polarization angles. In particular, we examined vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion, differentiation to myofibroblasts, and collagen organization in response to 800 nm polarized light at 0°, 45°, 90°, and 135° with a power density of 40 mW/cm2 for 6 min every day for 6 days. Additional experiments were conducted in which the polarization angle of the incident was changed every day to induce an isotropic distribution of collagen. The data presented here shows that polarized light can upregulate VEGF production, myofibroblast differentiation, and induce different collagen organization in response to different polarization angles of the incident beam. These results are encouraging and demonstrate possible methods for controlling cell response through the polarization angle of the laser light, which has potential for the treatment of wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-547
Number of pages9
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Collagen
  • Fibroblasts
  • Second harmonic generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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