A simple bite of a lettuce was the gesture that showed that the powers of the LED light (Light Emitting Diode) not only served to save on the electricity bill. The VegOne project, launched by NASA at the International Space Station (EEI), managed in 2015 to produce the first vegetable grown entirely in orbit.
American astronaut Scott Kelly and his team were able to create the necessary environmental conditions so that a common romaine lettuce could carry out photosynthesis and grow as it would on Earth by irradiating it with red, blue and green LEDs. The resulting salad tasted by space navigators was a milestone as it proved that chromatic photobio-stimulation with this technology was capable of causing cellular activity. Or what is the same, to help the generation and regeneration of tissues.
Light therapies have centuries of history. Hippocrates prescribed his patients sun baths to improve skin pathologies and Egyptians and Hindus practiced chromotherapy (the healing power of colors based on the different wavelengths they emit), without any scientific basis. The appearance of electricity caused science to be interested in it.
And, although the first LED was developed in the US, in 1962, by engineer Nick Holonyak, it was not until 1988 when physicists T. Ohshiro and G.R. Calderhead, —experienced in laser and pioneers in describing the LLLT technique (in Spanish Low Intensity Laser Therapy) - mentioned its possible effects on cells. The potential of integrated LED light within LLLT as a medical and aesthetic tool was already glimpsed, however, during the 1990s. Then, phototherapy was dominated by conventional lasers, as researchers were not able to generate LED light of a specific wavelength (of a certain color) to achieve specific clinical objectives.
In 1998, NASA took a big step in developing stable, powerful and diverse color LED sources. The first practical application was that of red and near infrared, which managed to mitigate pain and contribute to the faster healing of wounds and burns. And astronauts were pioneers in using in orbit a technology that today has multiple applications for the health and beauty of the skin.
Mossum K. Sawhney, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Michael R. Hamblin, of Harvard Medical School - who have carried out a comprehensive follow-up of LLLT therapies in aesthetic dermatology - explain that "light sources Non-thermal, coherent (lasers) or non-coherent, filtered lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used in LLLT therapeutic applications, mainly to reduce pain and inflammation, accelerate tissue repair, regenerate teguments [ external organs that protect the body] and nerves and prevent tissue damage. " And in recent years, they continue, it has been shown to be "a promising therapeutic modality for a wide range of dermatological and cosmetic applications."
Wrinkles, sagging, acne, cellulite, stretch marks, spots, even alopecia, have a new tool "easy to use, friendly - not invasive - with mild side effects", they add, and with a lot of future as it works well by itself and together with other technologies such as high density focused ultrasound (HIFU), radiofrequency in all its versions, vacuum therapy, microcurrents or cutting-edge cosmetic active ingredients. "With the growing acceptance and continuous research in the field of photomedicine, it can be concluded that LLLT, among other phototherapeutic modalities, will continue to grow and emerge as a versatile tool in dermatology," the specialists conclude.
It is very common that aesthetics and cosmetics drink from the sources of medicine to offer increasingly effective treatments. The LLLT landed first in medical centers and beauty salons, where they were applied with a device that was not accessible to the general public. Alone or as a complement to other technologies. Today, the newest thing in consultation is materialized in an apparatus with the name of Russian dancer - Kleresca SKR -, based on the mechanism of photosynthesis of plants.
Mayte Truchuelo, clinical dermatologist of the Pedro Jaén Dermatology Group and Vithas Nuestra Señora de América Hospital and member of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV) explains: "Interacts with a photoconverter gel that makes chromophore that converts light into fluorescent energy capable of triggering a series of tissue reactions, including the formation of new collagen. "
The novelty, in addition to the use of fluorescence, is in the high percentage of collagen production that is achieved, up to 400%, an efficiency approved by the FDA, the US agency responsible for ensuring the safety of food, medicines, cosmetics and products for use in humans.
In the last three years, homemade gadgets have appeared that replicate this technology, with shapes and names that take us to a world of science fiction film. These gadgets of avant-garde design such as the BIOMASKmask, the PEN RADIO FREQUENCYthat emit LED light, in one or several colors, and that promise to reduce crow's feet, reshape the facial oval, minimize stains, mitigate acne, mitigate the fall Capillary or dissipate cellulite. Everything, in the comfort of your sofa. Many celebrities say they have become unconditional of their virtues for their convenience of use and their results. Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian or Kate Hudson will champion this light crusade.