Phototherapy

Harnessing the power of light at specific wavelengths and dose has profound stimulatory or inhibitory effects on cellular behaviour (photobiomodulation) and bacterial growth and viability. These characteristics can be harnessed to provide non-invasive therapeutic interventions important in modulating inflammation, infection, maintaining cell viability, analgesia and promotion of wound healing.

William Palin

Professor William Palin

Principal Investigator & Group Lead

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Mike Milward

Professor Michael Milward

Principal Investigator & Group Lead

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Paul Cooper

Professor Paul Cooper

Principal Investigator

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Mohammad Hadis

Dr Mohammed Hadis

Principal Investigator

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Sarah Kuehne

Dr Sarah Kuehne

Principal Investigator

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Our research group

The group draws on expertise across cell and molecular biology, microbiology, optoelectronics, biophotonics, and has expertise for clinical translation with collaborations across a broad spectrum of clinical disciplines including medicine, veterinary sciences, and dentistry. These collaborations aim to deliver novel therapeutic interventions for traumatic brain injury, periodontitis (gum disease), local and systemic infections, musculoskeletal disorders, skin disease, cardiovascular disease, neuropathic pain, and traumatic wound infection/repair.

Our multidisciplinary group works towards understanding the fundamental principles of photobiomodulation and its application towards clinical translation. The research and translational developments are underpinned by funding from the UK Research Councils, NIHR, Ministry of Defence and industry. We demonstrate the therapeutic effects and dose optimisation required for beneficial biological responses towards the development of innovative medical devices. Recently, our work has resulted in securing the intellectual property relating to the invasive delivery of near infrared light for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

The overarching aims of the Phototherapy Research Group, include:

  • Understanding tissular, cellular and molecular mechanisms that underpin phototherapy.
  • Developing novel approaches to bacterial decontamination
  • Developing novel in vitro tools for high-throughput analysis in order to study the efficacy of light therapy in a range of treatment needs.
  • Modelling light transmission through relevant tissues in order to optimise light dosing parameters.
  • Developing simultaneous light treatment regimes to inhibit and remove infections that may impede wound repair.
  • Understanding patient needs and to identify the most appropriate light therapy delivery approach to enable the development of novel devices for a range of clinical needs.
A custom made, fully characterised and calibrated  LED array to identify optimal dosing parameters (wavelength: 400-850nm; irradiance 6-24mW/cm2) for high-throughput in vitro phototherapy research. (a) LEDs housed in 96-well plate, (b) a silicon mask to prevent light ‘bleed’, (c) LED array with 96-well plate containing cell culture and (d) irradiation of cell cultures.
A custom made, fully characterised and calibrated LED array to identify optimal dosing parameters (wavelength: 400-850nm; irradiance 6-24mW/cm2) for high-throughput in vitro phototherapy research. (a) LEDs housed in 96-well plate, (b) a silicon mask to prevent light ‘bleed’, (c) LED array with 96-well plate containing cell culture and (d) irradiation of cell cultures.
A patented 3D printable light delivery bolt for intracranial theranostics (therapy and diagnostics) for phototherapy and Raman spectroscopy monitoring using optical fibres for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
A patented 3D printable light delivery bolt for intracranial theranostics (therapy and diagnostics) for phototherapy and Raman spectroscopy monitoring using optical fibres for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
Beam profile analysis and spatial irradiance distribution of bundled fibre-optic light delivery with the novel intercranial bolt and through a relevant brain tissue phantom. phototherapy bundled light source and the actual irradiance delivered on membrane surfaces in in vitro experiments.
Beam profile analysis and spatial irradiance distribution of bundled fibre-optic light delivery with the novel intercranial bolt and through a relevant brain tissue phantom. phototherapy bundled light source and the actual irradiance delivered on membrane surfaces in in vitro experiments.

Current projects

An Invasive theranostic optical central nervous system interface, developing an functional prototype for use in traumatic brain injuries.
Funder: Midland Neuroscience Research Fund; July 2020 – June 2021

Portable PHOTOtherapy devices for maintaining tissue viability and accelerated wound REPair (PHOTOREP)
Funder: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Ministry of Defence; Sept 2018 – May 2021

Development of Novel Phototherapy Technology for Decontamination and Accelerated Wound Healing.
Funder: EPSRC/Dstl; Jan 2018 – Dec 2021

Publications

Selected publications

  • Halstead FD, Hadis MA, Milward M, Cooper PR, Oppenheim B, Palin WM (2019). Enhanced antimicrobial activity for photodisinfection of monomicrobial nosocomial related biofilms. Appl Environ Microbiol, 16;85: e01346-19.
  • Serrage H, Heiskanen V, Palin WM, Cooper PR, Milward MR, Hadis M, Hamblin MR (2019). Under the spotlight: mechanisms of photobiomodulation concentrating on blue and green light. Photochem Photobiol Sci, 18: 1877-1909.
  • Serrage H, Joanisse S, Cooper PR, Palin WM, Hadis M, Darch O, Philp A, Milward MR (2019). Differential responses of myoblasts and myotubes to photobiomodulation. J Biophotonics, 12: e201800411.
  • Hadis MA, Cooper PR, Milward MR, Gorecki PC, Tarte E, Churm J, Palin WM (2017). Development and application of LED arrays for use in phototherapy research. J Biophotonics, 10: 1514-1525
  • Hadis MA, Zainal SA, Holder MJ, Carroll JD, Cooper PR, Milward MR and Palin WM (2016). The dark art of light measurement: accurate radiometry for low-level light therapy. Lasers Med Sci, 31: 789-809.

Patents

  • Hadis MA, Davies D and Palin WM, ‘Novel light based therapeutic device for the treatment of traumatic brain injury’, UK Patent Application No 2006201.4; Phototherapy Device; The University of Birmingham.

Staff

PI(s): Dr David Davies, Professor Paul Cooper, Dr Sarah Kuehne

Postdocs: Farah Raja

Students: Rebecca Mungall, Mark Cronshaw