RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Low energy laser bio-stimulation of bone marrow stem cells for the treatment of myocardial infarction

Posted by RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.Responsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Low energy laser (light) irradiation has been shown to have bio-stimulatory beneficial effects on various biological processes in vitro, in vivo and also in clinical trails. We have explored the beneficial effects of light therapy (LT) on stem cells in the bone marrow in order to determine its potential application as cell therapy for the heart post myocardial infarction (MI). Preliminary results have shown that in the infarcted rat heart model the application of LT to the rat bone marrow (BM) in the hind leg 10 min and 4 hrs post MI caused a significant reduction of 79% and 75 % respectively in the scar tissue formed after MI. This is a novel, simple and non-invasive approach to improving heart function after heart attack in patients, and may also serve as a basis for cell therapy of other diseased organs. The fact that LT demonstrated efficacy in scar reduction 4 hours post MI, indicates its clinical relevance to treat patients post MI.
Project ID : 2-2011-143

The Device

rLLLT is a remote (non-invasive) Low Level Laser Therapy to the tibia of AMI patients. rLLLT mobilizes autologous bone marrow stem cells into the blood stream, where they home to the ischemic organ, induce paracrine secretion of growth factors, enhancing cytoprotection, cardiogenesis and angiogenesis. Collectively, the beneficial effects of rLLLT are a result of several mechanisms acting in concert leading to a significant reduction in scarring and improved cardiac function. These beneficial effects can be achieved with a single rLLLT up to 4 hours post MI. Improved effects can be achieved with multiple (3-4) rLLLT starting 30 minutes post MI.

We have also demonstrated improvement of kidney function and histopathology by rLLLT delivered in the same manner as for the heart, demonstrating also its efficacy in other ischemic organs

rLLLT characteristics:

·“Soft” laser irradiation at the infrared range.

· Power is up to 0.1W (compared to 1W in surgical laser)

· Application does not cause heat

The Data

1. Mechanism of Action

Following rLLLT, photons are absorbed by cytochrome c-oxidase and a cascade of processes commence, leading to upregulation of ATP production, expression of heat shock proteins, VEGF and iNOS enhancement, and cell proliferation. rLLLT induces enhanced proliferation of stem cells in the BM and consequent elevation of c-kit+ cells in the blood stream. The c-kit+ cells macrophages home specifically at the ischemic zone in the heart

2. In vivo studies

Porcine Model – Experimental Protocol

  • MI was induced by occlusion between 2nd & 3rd diagonal of LAD for 90 min by balloon catheter and then reperfusion.
  • Random selection for control (no laser application) or rLLLT application for 100 sec to tibia and illium for 30 min after balloon deflation.
  • rLLLT was applied again also on days 2 & 7 post MI.
  • Blood samples were collected for Troponin-I, CPK, antioxidants and FACS analysis .
  • Swine were subjected to ECHO and MRI analysis
  • rLLLT was applied also on days 2 & 7 post MI.
  • Animals were sacrifice 90 days post MI (Cardiac MRI performed to some pigs prior to sacrifice) hearts were subjected to Histopathology


The infarct size (% of scar tissue out of the LV volume as measured from histology) in rLLLT treated pigs was 3.2±0.82, which was 68% significantly (p

Project manager

Rona Samler
VP, BD Physical Science, Medical Device, Chemistry

Project researchers

Uri Oron
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences

Related keywords

  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Diagnostics, Diagnosis
  • Medical Technology / Biomedical Engineering
  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Diagnostic
  • Medical imaging
  • Therapeutic
  • Other medical/health related (not elsewhere classified)
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Medical equipment
  • medical devices
  • Pharmaceutical Indications
  • Cardiovascular
  • medical devices
  • Therapeutic Instruments
  • Cell therapy

About RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

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