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Far infrared radiation (FIR): Its biological effects and medical applications


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Far infrared (FIR) radiation (λ = 3 – 100 μ m) is a subdivision of the electromagnetic spectrum that has been investigated for biological effects. The goal of this review is to cover the use of a further subdivision (3 – 12 μ m) of this waveband, that has been observed in both in vitro and in vivo studies, to stimulate cells and tissue, and is considered a promising treatment modality for certain medical conditions. Technological advances have provided new techniques for delivering FIR radiation to the human body. Specialty lamps and saunas, delivering pure FIR radiation (eliminating completely the near and mid infrared bands), have became safe, effective, and widely used sources to generate therapeutic effects. Fibers impregnated with FIR emitting ceramic nanoparticles and woven into fabrics, are being used as garments and wraps to generate FIR radiation, and attain health benefits from its effects.
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DOI 10.1515/plm-2012-0034 Photon Lasers Med 2012; 1(4): 255–266
Fatma Vatansever and Michael R. Hamblin *
Far infrared radiation (FIR): Its biological effects
and medical applications
Ferne Infrarotstrahlung: Biologische Effekte und medizinische Anwendungen
Far infrared (FIR) radiation ( λ =  3 – 100 μ m) is a subdivision
of the electromagnetic spectrum that has been investi-
gated for biological effects. The goal of this review is to
cover the use of a further sub-division (3 12 μ m) of this
waveband, that has been observed in both in vitro and
in vivo studies, to stimulate cells and tissue, and is consid-
ered a promising treatment modality for certain medical
conditions. Technological advances have provided new
techniques for delivering FIR radiation to the human body.
Specialty lamps and saunas, delivering pure FIR radiation
(eliminating completely the near and mid infrared bands),
have became safe, effective, and widely used sources to
generate therapeutic effects. Fibers impregnated with FIR
emitting ceramic nanoparticles and woven into fabrics,
are being used as garments and wraps to generate FIR
radiation, and attain health benefits from its effects.
Keywords: far infrared radiation; radiant heat; black body
radiation; biogenetic rays; FIR emitting ceramics and
fibers; infrared sauna.
Ferne Infrarotstrahlung (far infrared, FIR) ( λ =  3 – 100 μ m)
ist ein Unterbereich des elektromagnetischen Spektrums,
der hinsichtlich seiner biologischen Effekte von wissen-
schaftlichem Interesse ist. Das vorliegende Review kon-
zentriert sich auf den Spektralbereich von 3 12 μ m, der
sowohl in In-vitro - als auch in In-vivo -Studien mit Blick auf
die Stimulation von Zellen und Gewebe untersucht wurde
und der eine vielversprechende Behandlungsmodalit ä t
f ü r verschiedene medizinische Konditionen darstellt.
Dank des technischen Fortschrittes konnten verschie-
dene neue Techniken zur Applikation von FIR-Strahlung
am menschlichen K ö rper entwickelt werden. Spezielle
Lampen und Saunas, die reine FIR-Strahlung (ohne
Anteile von Nahinfrarot- und Mittelinfrarotstrahlung)
liefern, sind immer sicherer und effektiver geworden und
werden verbreitet f ü r therapeutische Zwecke genutzt.
Fasern, die mit FIR-emittierenden Keramik-Nanopartikeln
impr ä gniert und zu Stoffen weiterverarbeitet werden,
finden Verwendung als Kleidung oder Verbandsstoffe, die
aufgrund der generierten FIR-Strahlung gesundheitliche
Vorteile bewirken k ö nnen.
Schl ü sselw ö rter: Ferne Infrarotstrahlung (FIR); Strah-
lungsw ä rme; Schwarzk ö rperstrahlung; biogenetische
Strahlen; FIR-emittierende Keramiken und Fasern;
*Corresponding author: Michael R. Hamblin, Wellman Center for
Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA,
Michael R. Hamblin: Department of Dermatology , Harvard Medical
School, Boston, MA, USA; and Harvard-MIT Division of Health
Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA , USA
Fatma Vatansever: Wellman Center for Photomedicine ,
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; and Department
of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA , USA
1 Introduction
All living organisms are subjected to the natural electro-
magnetic radiation reaching the earth from the sun. Living
organisms experience the beneficial as well as adverse
effects of it at all levels, starting from sub-cellular orga-
nelles and ending with the whole body. Thermal radiation
(or infrared) is a band of energy in the complete electromag-
netic spectrum and it has been used effectively for millen-
nia to treat/ease certain maladies and discomforts. Heated
saunas are only one of the avenues (and perhaps the oldest)
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256F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications
to deliver the radiation in a controlled environment and
within a convenient treatment time. With the development
of better technology to deliver pure far infrared radiation
(FIR), the benefits from its effects have widened. Nowadays,
specialty FIR emitting heat lamps and garments made up of
filaments (fibers) impregnated with FIR emitting nanopar-
ticles are becoming used to deliver these thermal radiation
effects. In this paper we explore the use of FIR as a promis-
ing treatment modality for certain medical conditions. We
cover both traditional applications and novel applications,
and survey the latest technological advancements and
most recent scientific studies in the field.
1.1 What is FIR radiation ?
With respect to the complete electromagnetic radiation
spectrum, the infrared radiation (IR) band covers the
wavelength range of 750 nm 100 μ m, frequency range of
400 THz–3 THz, and photon energy range of 12.4 meV
1.7 eV. It lies between the long wavelength red edge of
the visible and the short edge of the terahertz (starting at
3 THz) spectral bands (Figure 1 ).
The classification of the International Commission on
Illumination (CIE) has three sub-divisions for the IR radia-
tion as given in Table 1
. An alternative classification pro-
vided in ISO 20473 standard for the sub-division of the IR
ranges is given in Table 2
In the IR radiation bands, only FIR transfers energy
purely in the form of heat which can be perceived by the
thermoreceptors in human skin as radiant heat [1] . Not
only is FIR absorbed by the human body but it is also
emitted by the body in the form of black body radiation
(3 50 μ m with an output peak at 9.4 μ m).
The term black body was first used by Gustav
Kirchoff in 1860. In essence, all matter absorbs electromag-
netic radiation to some degree and an object that absorbs
all radiation falling on it (at all wavelengths and frequen-
cies) is called a black body, i.e., a perfect absorber. When
a black body is at a uniform temperature state, it emits
back this absorbed energy, and it is termed as black body
radiation . This is a type of radiation and has continu-
ous frequency/intensity which depends only on the black
body s temperature, and the type of spectrum it generates
is called the Planck spectrum. In this type of spectrum,
spectral peaks at characteristic frequencies are shifted to
higher values (shorter wavelengths) with increasing tem-
perature values. For instance, at room temperature most
of the emission of the black body is in the infrared region
of the electromagnetic spectrum. At a typical environmen-
tal background temperature, which is around 300 K, the
peak emission is at about 9.7 μ m (and the curve covers
the FIR region as well); at around 1800 K (temperature of
molten steel), the peak is shifted to 1.6 μ m; at around 6000
K (surface temperature of the sun), the peak is shifting
even further, 0.48 μ m, which now is in the visible (blue)
region of the spectrum. Peak shifts of some representative
black body temperatures and the range of electromag-
netic radiation they fall into are given in Figure 2 A, B. This
type of shift in the emission peaks of the black bodies (to
shorter wavelengths at higher temperatures) is governed
by Wien s displacement law.
1.2 Biological effects of FIR
FIR application in medicine requires understanding
and knowledge of the interactions of electromagnetic
Figure 1 The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation and some
biological changes it may induce.
Name/abbreviation Wavelength Photon
energy (THz)
Near infrared/IR-A . – .  m ( –  nm)  – 
Mid infrared/IR-B . – .  m ( –  nm)  – 
Far infrared/IR-C . –   m ( nm – . mm)  – 
Table 1  CIE classification of IR radiation.
Name/abbreviation Wavelength ( μ m)
Near IR, NIR .
Mid IR, MIR . 
Far IR, FIR  
Table 2 ISO 20473 standard for sub-division of the IR.
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F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications 257
radiation at FIR range with biological structures (includ-
ing cells, cell membranes, cell fluids – especially water,
DNA/proteins) and functioning of the living systems in
general. At the cellular level, the underlying biophysical
mechanisms of the interaction of electromagnetic radia-
tion with living cells can be framed in terms of altered cell
membrane potentials and altered mitochondrial metabo-
lism [2] . FIR energy (photons with quantum energy levels
of 12.4 meV 1.7 eV) is absorbed by vibrational levels of
bonds in molecules. There are six vibrational modes
covering symmetric and antisymmetric stretching, scissor-
ing, rocking, wagging and twisting. Considering the high
concentration of water in biological systems, association
of water molecules with ions (solvation effect), the dielec-
tric properties of the water and the large dipole moment
that this effect generates, this will be a dominant factor in
biological solutions. It is known that at lower frequencies
water molecules are able to rotate freely in an oscillating
electric field with little or almost no energy loss. However,
if the frequency of the electric field reaches 10
8 Hz levels,
the rotational mode becomes hindered (due to dielectric
friction effect) and the absorbed energy starts dissipating
by collision or nearest neighbor interactions in the media
[2] . The dielectric relaxation of water at 310 K is around 25
GHz where the rotational response of the dipoles to the
electromagnetic field is spread over a broad frequency
In living systems, in addition to the water molecules
association with the electromagnetic field and effects
of that, one has to consider the meso-structure effect
where proteins and charged groups (located at specific
sites on the proteins) are crucial for the overall biological
activity. These specifically located charged groups associ-
ate with the water molecules and by doing this influence
the dielectric behavior of the whole molecular-assembly,
which in turn effects its biologic functioning. Thus, the
dielectric properties of tissues (even at cellular level)
depend on and vary with the water content. In addition,
the relaxation of these molecular meso-structures can
show variations with frequency. For these reasons, water
content is a critical factor in the interaction between FIR
and living organisms.
In this regard, the dynamics of water-clusters has
attracted considerable interest since there is a notice-
able difference with respect to the dynamics of bulk-
liquid-water, and this may have significant implications
in biological environments. Local changes in the mole-
cular environment (caused by solvation or confinement)
are shown to affect substantially the translational and
vibrational modes in FIR frequency range. It is found that
water cluster size and temperature affect the FIR absorp-
tion spectrum significantly [3] .
2 Medical applications of FIR
For FIR used as a therapeutic modality the alternative
terms “ biogenetic radiation ” and biogenetic rays ”
have been coined and widely used in the popular lit-
erature. FIR wavelength is too long to be perceived by
Spectral radiant emittance (W/(m2 μm))
Spectral radiance, W/(m2 μm sr)
Water (0°C)
Water (100°C)
Radiant heater (400°C)
Molten steel
Fireproof stone
Fireproof stone
Peak wavelength at maximum intensity (μm)
Temperature (K)
1000 K
900 K
800 K
700 K
600 K
500 K
400 K
300 K
Wavelength (μm)
Figure 2 (A) Planck s law. Dependence of spectral radiant
emittance ( ω λ ) for perfect black bodies as a function of wavelength
( λ ). (B) Wien s displacement law. The wavelength of maximal radiant
exitance ( λ max ) as a function of the absolute temperature (T) for a
perfect black body (dashed line) and different bodies.
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258F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications
the eyes, however, the body experiences its energy as a
gentle radiant heat which can penetrate up to 1.5 inches
(almost 4 cm) beneath the skin. FIR energy is sufficient
to exert rotational and vibrational modes of motion in
bonds forming the molecules (including the water mol-
ecules) as well as resonate with cellular frequencies.
Resulting epidermal temperature is higher when the
skin is irradiated with FIR than if similar thermal loads
from shorter wavelengths are used. The prolonged ery-
thermal response due to FIR exposure has been pro-
posed to be due to increased epidermal temperatures
associated with it, but levels of FIR that do not produce
any detectable skin heating can also have biological
2.1 Biomedical laboratory studies using
FIR sources
2.1.1 FIR heat lamps
There have been many attempts to use FIR as a therapeu-
tic intervention where devices known as infrared heat
lamps that emit more or less FIR are been used. Unfortu-
nately, pure FIR emitting lamps are expensive, and thus,
in some instances lamps that have mixed emission, i.e.,
emit in shorter (mid infrared, MIR; near infrared, NIR
and even visible light) wavelength ranges are been used.
A common type of specialized infrared heat lamp emits
2 25 μ m radiation. IR saunas are often used and the most
effective types have ceramic FIR emitting panels that
remain cool to the touch. However, most IR saunas on the
market do not use the expensive FIR panels, which can be
touched since they remain always cold.
There have been a few laboratory studies that have
reported the biological effects of FIR. A recent impor-
tant paper describes the in vitro use of an FIR generator
(WS TY-301R
; M/s WS Far Infrared Medical Technol-
ogy Co., Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan; see Figure 3 ) as a radia-
tion source to irradiate human umbilical vein endothe-
lial cells (HUVECs) [4] . In the study, FIR exposure (a low
non-thermal irradiance) of 0.13 mW/cm
2 for 30 min inhib-
ited proliferation and the vascular endothelial growth
factor (VEGF)-induced phosphorylation of extracellular
signal-regulated kinases in HUVECs. Furthermore, FIR
exposure induced the phosphorylation of endothelial
nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and nitric oxide (NO) gen-
eration in VEGF-treated HUVECs. Both VEGF-induced
NO and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was
involved in the inhibitory effect of FIR. Nitrotyrosine for-
mation increased significantly in HUVECs treated with
Figure 3  Medical FIR sources. (A) WS TY-301R ®
and (B, C) WS
FIR lamps (both by WS Far Infrared Medical Technology Co.,
Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan).
VEGF and FIR together. Inhibition of phospho inositide
3-kinase (PI3K) by wortmannin abolished both the FIR-
induced phosphorylation of eNOS and serine/threonine-
specific protein kinase in HUVECs. In addition to that,
FIR exposure upregulated the expression of PI3K p85 at
the transcriptional level. It was observed that FIR expo-
sure induced the nuclear translocation of promyelocytic
leukemia zinc finger protein in the cells. These data
provide information on how FIR exposure could affect
microcirculation, independent from thermal effects. The
same group had previously shown that non-thermal FIR
therapy increased skin blood flow in rats [5] . Toyokawa
et al. [6] used home-made ceramic FIR emitters to stimu-
late full thickness excisional skin wound healing in rats.
After constant exposure to FIR, wound healing was signifi-
cantly quickened and transforming growth factor (TGF)-
beta1 expressing myofibroblasts and collagen content
were increased.
Along the same lines, Akasaki et al. [7] studied in vivo
the effects of repeated FIR irradiation on angiogenesis in
a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia. Following reports
that FIR therapy upregulated the expression of arterial
eNOS in hamsters (and it is known that NO constitutively
produced by eNOS plays an important role in angiogen-
esis) they took a step further to investigate whether the
FIR therapy increases angiogenesis in mice with the
hindlimb ischemia. In their study, unilateral hindlimb
ischemia was induced in apolipoprotein E-deficient
mice and the group to receive the FIR irradiation was
placed in a FIR dry sauna at 41 ° C for 15 min and then
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F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications 259
at 34 ° C for 20 min once daily, with total duration of the
experiment of 5 weeks. Laser-Doppler perfusion imaging
demonstrated that at the ischemic limb, blood perfu-
sion ratio in the irradiated group increased significantly
in comparison with the control group (0.79 ±  0.04 vs.
0.54  ±  0.08, p  <0.001). Also, in the treated group, signifi-
cantly greater capillary density was observed (757 ±  123
per mm
2 vs. 416 ±20 per mm
2 , p  <0.01). Western blotting
showed that thermal therapy has increased markedly the
hindlimb eNOS expression. Furthermore, to study pos-
sible involvement of eNOS in thermally induced angio-
genesis, the same FIR therapy was given to mice with
hindlimb ischemia with or without N(G)-nitro-L-arginine
methyl ester (L-NAME) administration for the dura-
tion of 5 weeks. It was observed that L-NAME treatment
eliminated angiogenesis induced using the FIR thermal
therapy and that the therapy did not increase angiogen-
esis in eNOS-deficient mice. The study led to the conclu-
sion that angiogenesis can be induced via eNOS using
FIR thermal therapy in mice with hindlimb ischemia.
Ishibashi et al. [8] did an in vitro study with
five human cancer cell lines (A431, vulva; HSC3,
tongue; Sa3, gingival; A549, lung; and MCF7, breast)
to assess the effects of FIR irradiation. For that
purpose, they used a tissue culture incubator with
an imbedded FIR lamp that could continuously irra-
diate cells with FIR (lamp operating wavelength
range being 4 20 μ m with an emission peak height at
7 12 μ m). The overall observation was that the FIR effect
varied in these five cancer cell line types, as can be
expected. The study results showed that basal expres-
sion level of heat shock protein (HSP) 70A mRNA was
higher in A431 and MCF7 cell lines in comparison with
the FIR-sensitive HSC3, Sa3, and A549 cell lines. The
study showed that the over expression of HSP70 inhib-
ited FIR-induced growth arrest in HSC3 cells, and that
HSP70 siRNA inhibited the proliferation of A431 cells
after FIR treatment. A summary of the results of this
study indicated that the proliferation-suppressing effect
of FIR, in some cancer cell lines, is controlled by the
basal expression level of the HSP70A. These findings
suggest that FIR irradiation may be used as an effective
medical treatment avenue for some cancer cells which
have low levels of HSP70.
2.1.2 FIR emitting ceramics and fabrics
FIR emitting ceramics have been known for some time
[9, 10] . All ceramics have the property of emitting IR
radiation depending on their temperature. In the age
of gas lighting, ceramic mantles were heated by gas
flames to emit both IR and visible radiation depending
on the temperature attained. The exact chemical compo-
sition of the ceramic material governs the relationship
between the temperature and the amount of IR radia-
tion. The radiated energy follows the Stefan-Boltzmann
law which says that the total energy radiated per unit
of surface area per unit of time is directly proportional to
the fourth power of the black body s absolute tempera-
ture. The wavelength range also depends strictly on the
temperature according to Wien s displacement law [11] .
The boron-silicate mineral, tourmaline (known as
a gemstone in its crystalline form) when milled into fine
powders also emits FIR [12] and the characteristics of the
FIR emission depend on the particle size. Preparations
containing tourmaline powder have been applied to the
skin with the aim of affecting the blood flow [13] . In a
similar manner discs of FIR emitting ceramics have been
attached to the skin with the intent of producing a benefi-
cial effect (see later).
Small particles (nanoparticles and microparticles)
of FIR-emitting ceramic material have been incorporated
into fibers that are then woven into fabrics. These fabrics
can be manufactured into various garments that can be
worn on different parts of the body.
When FIR emitting ceramics or fabrics are employed
as therapeutic devices, it is pertinent to analyze the ther-
modynamics of the process. The first law of thermodynam-
ics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Heat (molecular vibrational energy) is transferred from
one body to another in three forms: radiation, convec-
tion and conduction. Thus, it is clear that the principle
source of energy needed to power the FIR emission from
the garments comes from the human body, since it is at
a significantly higher temperature than the surrounding
air. So energy from the human body is transferred to these
ceramic particles, which are acting as perfect absorb-
ers , maintain their temperature at sufficiently high levels
and then emit FIR back to the body. It is plausible that FIR
emitted from the skin is absorbed by the ceramic parti-
cles, which then re-emit the same FIR back to the skin.
Although this may appear to be an energy neutral process
and to cancel itself out, this is not in fact the case because
the FIR emitting material will prevent the loss of FIR that
would otherwise have escaped through normal clothing.
However the same effect could have been achieved with
a FIR reflective foil suit or suchlike. Other sources of heat
that can transfer energy from the body to the ceramic par-
ticles with a net gain of FIR are either convection, conduc-
tion, or both. The balance between conduction and con-
vection will depend on how close the contact is between
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260F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications
the garment and the skin. If the garment is skin tight, then
conduction may be important, while if it is loose fitting
then convection (heating up a layer of air between the skin
and the garment) may be important.
Ting-Kai Leung and colleagues have studied the
effect of FIR-emitting ceramic powders in a range of bio-
logical studies [14 19] . In one set of studies, they cul-
tured murine myoblast cells (C2C12) with bags of ceramic
powder under the culture plates and found that FIR
irradiation improved cell viability and prevented lactate
dehydrogenase release under hydrogen peroxide (H
2 O 2 )-
mediated oxidative stress, and also elevated the intracel-
lular levels of NO and calmodulin [14] . In the study, they
used electro-stimulation of amphibian skeletal muscle
and found that FIR emitting ceramics delayed the onset of
fatigue, induced by muscle contractions [14] . In another
set of studies, they showed that ceramic-emitted FIR
(cFIR) could increase the generation of intracellular NO
in breast cancer cells [15] and inhibit growth of murine
melanoma cells [16] . Similarly, they found that cFIR
increased calmodulin and NO production in RAW 264.7
macrophages [17] . cFIR also has been shown to increase
the viability of murine macrophages with different con-
centrations of H
2 O 2 [15] . In this study [15] it was shown
that cFIR significantly inhibited intracellular peroxide
levels and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced peroxide
production by macrophages. In the same study, it was
also demonstrated that cFIR blocked ROS-mediated cyto-
toxicity (shown by measurements of cytochrome c and
the ratio of NADP + /NADPH) [15] .
The same research group went on to study a rabbit
model of rheumatoid arthritis in which rabbits received
intra-articular injections of LPS to induce inflam-
mation that mimics the rheumatoid arthritis [18] .
18 F) coupled with positron emission
tomography (FDG-PET) scans were used to monitor the
inflammation in 16 h and 7 days after the LPS injection.
Rabbits to be treated with cFIR were placed in a cage sur-
rounded by paper sheets impregnated with a thin layer
of the ceramic powder, while the control group was sur-
rounded by the same sheet without the material. Compari-
son of the final and initial uptakes of FDG isotopes in the
LPS-injected left knee-joints of the rabbits indicated larger
decreases in the cFIR exposed group than in the control
group indicating that FIR reduced inflammation.
In their most recent study the Leung group studied
the repair effect of cFIR in human breast epithelial cells
(MCF-10A) after H
2 O 2 and after ionizing radiation from an
X-ray source [19] . Their results show that in both, H
2 O 2 toxi-
city and radiation exposure models, the cFIR treated cells
demonstrated significantly higher cell survival rates than
the control groups. In view of the experimental results
and taking into account the relationship between indirect
ionizing radiation and the oxidative stress-induced cell
damage, and accumulation of free radicals, they proposed
that the ionizing radiation protective ability of cFIR occurs
predominantly through an antioxidant mechanism. They
are suggesting that cFIR provides cells with a defensive
mechanism during the irradiation process and promotes
cell repair during post exposure period through hydrogen
peroxide scavenging and COX-2 inhibiting activities.
2.2 Means that are used to deliver the
FIR radiation
We analyzed the peer-reviewed applications of therapeu-
tic FIR delivery systems and realized that there are three
main techniques for FIR radiation delivery: i) FIR saunas,
ii) FIR ray devices and iii) FIR emitting ceramics and
2.2.1 FIR saunas
In these cabins, the heating elements are typically heated
to about 300 400 ° C and the emission is in the FIR range,
that is, the heat exchange between the body and the envi-
ronment is almost purely radiative (radiant heating) with
cabin air temperature being at around 40 ° C or less (Figure
4 ). Heating of the skin with FIR warming cabins is faster
(in comparison with the conventional saunas) but higher
irradiance of the skin must be applied in order to produce
noticeable sweating. These cabins are frequently used in
Japan where the practice is called Waon therapy [20,
21] . Waon therapy has been used extensively in Japan
[22] and Korea [23] for cardiovascular conditions and
diseases, particularly chronic heart failure [24, 25] and
peripheral arterial disease [26, 27] . FIR sauna therapy
has been used to improve cardiac and vascular func-
tion and reduce oxidative stress in patients with chronic
heart failure [28] . Beever [29] asked whether FIR saunas
could have a beneficial effect on quality of life in those
patients with type II diabetes. The study consisted of
20 min, three times weekly infrared sauna sessions, over
a period of 3 months. Physical health, general health,
social functioning indices, and visual analogue scales
(VAS) measurements for stress and fatigue all improved
in the treatment group. A study of patients with rheuma-
toid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis showed a reduc-
tion in pain, stiffness, and fatigue during infrared sauna
therapy [30] .
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F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications 261
2.2.2 FIR ray devices
Common devices are WS TY-101N
and WS TY-301R
(made by WS Far Infrared Medical Technology Co., Ltd.,
Taipei, Taiwan; see Figure 3). A report from Hu and Li
[31] describes the treatment of allergic rhinitis. A WS
FIR emitter was placed 30 cm from the patient s
nasal region. The treatment was performed for 40 min
every morning for 7 days. Every day, patients recorded
their symptoms in a diary before and during treatment.
Each symptom of rhinitis was rated on a 4-point scale
(0 3) according to severity. During the period of FIR
therapy, the symptoms of eye itching, nasal itching,
nasal stuffiness, rhinorrhea, and sneezing were all sig-
nificantly improved. Smell impairment was improved
after the last treatment. Lin et al. [32] used a WS TY-101N
FIR emitter to treat vascular access malfunction with
an inadequate access flow (Qa) in hemodialysis (HD)
patients. This randomized trial demonstrated that
FIR therapy could improve access flow and potency of
the native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) in a total of 145
HD patients (73 in the control group and 72 in the FIR-
treated group). FIR was used for 40 min, and hemody-
namic parameters were measured by the HD02 monitor
(M/s Transonic System Inc.), during the hemodialysis. In
comparison with control subjects, patients who received
FIR therapy for 1 year had a lower incidence (12.5 vs.
30.1 % ; p  <0.01) and relative incidence (one episode per
67.7 vs. one episode per 26.7 patient-months; p =  0.03) of
AVF malfunction. Hausswirth et al. [33] showed that FIR
therapy reduced symptoms of exercise-induced muscle
damage in athletes after a simulated trail running race.
2.2.3 FIR emitting ceramics and fabrics
Discs and garments manufactured of FIR emitting ceramic
material have been applied to the human body (Figure 5 ).
For instance, a blanket containing discs has been reported
to improve quality of sleep [34] and single discs were
applied to the breasts of women who encountered diffi-
culty in producing sufficient breast milk during lactation
[35] . Gloves have been made out of FIR emitting fabrics and
there have been reports that these gloves can be used to
treat arthritis of the hands and Raynaud s syndrome [36] .
Belts made out of these fabrics have been used for
weight reduction. In one study, Conrado and Munin [37]
investigated whether the use of a garment made with
synthetic fibers embedded with powdered ceramic led
to a reduction in body measurements. The study popula-
tion comprised 42 women divided into two groups: active
and placebo. The volunteers used clothing either impreg-
nated or not impregnated with ceramic powder for at least
8 h/day for 30 days. The experimental data showed a
reduction in body measurements, which may be a conse-
quence of an increment in microcirculation and peripheral
blood flow, and these changes might promote improved
general health.
A belt containing FIR-emitting sericite mineral (a fine
grained mica) was used to study the relief of menstrual
FIR sauna
Conventional sauna
Figure 4 FIR sauna. (A, B) Comparison of FIR sauna with conventional heated sauna. (C) Cabin incorporating FIR emitting cold unit(s)
(Anhui Hi-Tech Electronic Commerce Co., Ltd., Hefei, China).
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262F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications
pain [38] . In this study, 104 patients with primary dys-
menorrhea were randomized to wear a sericite or
placebo belt during sleep for three menstrual cycles, and
then followed up for two additional menstrual cycles
with no belt. Hot packs were used to heat the ceramics
and ensure slight pain relief in both groups. Although
the severity of dysmenorrhea decreased during the treat-
ment period in both groups, it was found that during
the follow-up period, the decreased VAS (pain) score
was maintained in the experimental group, whereas the
VAS score gradually returned to baseline in the control
group, which resulted in significant difference between
the groups (p =  0.0017).
In their recent clinical study, Liau et al. [39] looked
into the benefits of using an FIR emitting belt for manag-
ing the discomfort of primary dysmenorrhea in female
patients. Taking into account several parameters, such
as body temperature, abdominal blood flow, pain assess-
ment, and heart rate variability, they showed that FIR
belts used increased the local surface body temperature
as well as the abdominal blood flow; in addition to reduc-
ing the pain and the discomfort from it. In this particular
study, a THERMEDIC FIR belt (LinkWin Technology Co.,
Ltd., Taiwan) with the capability to generate 11.34 mW/
2 at 50 ° C was used.
Rao et al. [40] used garments made out of bioceramic-
coated neoprene in conjunction with a topical cream to
treat cellulite of the legs. Each subject was randomized
to receive occlusion by the garment on either the right or
left leg, with the contralateral side serving as a control
with no occlusion. Of the 17 subjects who completed the
study, 76 % noticed an overall improvement in their cellu-
lite, with 54 % reporting greater improvement in the thigh
that received garment occlusion. Further, the evaluators
found the occluded thighs to show greater improvement
than the non-occluded thighs in 65 % of subjects. Biocer-
amic-coated neoprene garment occlusion potentiated the
effect of the topical agent in cellulite reduction. A follow
up two-center, double-blinded, randomized trial found
similar results [41] .
(Hologenix, Santa Monica, CA, USA) is a
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fiber that incorporates
FIR emitting ceramic nanoparticles. York and Gordon
[42] studied socks manufactured from Celliant
material in patients with chronic foot pain resulting from
diabetic neuropathy or other disorders. A double-blind,
Figure 5 FIR emitting garments and fabrics manufactured from fibers impregnated with ceramic nanoparticles (Celliant
, Hologenix,
Santa Monica, CA, USA). (A) fibers, (B) yarns, (C) fabrics, (D) knee bandage brace, (E) socks, (F) gloves, (G) elbow bandage brace,
(H) multi-purpose bandage, (I) performance apparel, (J) mattress, and (K) puppy blanket.
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F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications 263
randomized trial with 55 subjects (38 men, 17 women,
average age 59.7 ±11.9 years) enrolled 26 patients with
diabetic neuropathy and 29 with other pain etiologies.
Subjects twice completed the VAS, brief pain inventory
(BPI), McGill pain questionnaire (MPQ), and a multipur-
pose, short form health survey with 36 questions (SF-36)
a week apart [W(1 + 2)] before receiving either control or
socks. The same questionnaires were answered
again 1 and 2 weeks later [W(3 + 4)]. The questionnaires
provided nine scores for analyzing pain reduction: one
VAS score, two BPI scores, five MPQ scores, and the
bodily pain score on the SF-36. Mean W(1 + 2) and W(3 + 4)
scores were compared to measure pain reduction. More
pain reduction was reported by Celliant
subjects for
eight of the nine pain questions employed, with a signifi-
cant (p =0.043) difference between controls and Celliant
for McGill question III. In neuropathic subjects, Celliant
caused greater pain reduction in six of the nine questions,
but not significantly. In non-neuropathic subjects eight of
nine questions showed better pain reduction with the
3 Hypothesis for molecular
and cellular mechanisms of
FIR effects
Despite all these different uses of FIR in medical applica-
tions, the exact mechanisms of the hyperthermic effects
and biological activities of FIR irradiation are still poorly
understood. It is clear that two kinds of FIR therapy may
exist. The first type (FIR saunas and some FIR generators
powered by electricity) uses irradiances or power densi-
ties (tens of mW/cm
2 ) that are sufficient to heat up the
tissue, while others such as ceramic discs, powders, and
fabrics (that use no external power but rely on energy
from the body) have such low irradiances that they do
not heat the tissue (0.1 5 mW/cm
2 ). The question arises
to what extent are the fundamental mechanisms of these
two forms of FIR therapy the same, and to what extent are
they different ? Furthermore, the question may be posed
as to what degree of similarity that FIR therapy has with
the reasonably well-established therapy called low level
laser (light) therapy (LLLT) also known as photobiomo-
dulation (PBM). Pertinent to this question is the fact that
many devices used to deliver therapeutic visible or NIR
light were approved by the US Food and Drug Adminis-
tration as being equivalent to an infrared heat lamp .
The cellular and molecular mechanisms of LLLT/PBM
are to some extent understood and involve absorption of
red or NIR light by mitochondrial chromophores such as
cytochrome c oxidase (CCO, unit IV of the mitochondrial
respiratory chain) [43] . This photon absorption activates
the enzyme possibly by photo-dissociating the inhibitory
molecule, NO, from the copper B (CuB) site [44] . This loss
of NO allows electron transport, oxygen consumption,
and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to rapidly increase
and results in a marked rise in mitochondrial membrane
potential (MMP) that gives rise to a brief burst of ROS [45] .
Signaling pathways are activated by ATP, NO, and ROS
and these lead to activation of transcription factors (such
as NF- κ B) [46] that lead to the long-term effects on tissue
(healing, anti-inflammatory and pain relief [47] ) seen after
relatively transient periods of illumination.
Since the principle chromophore at FIR wavelengths
is not CCO but rather water, we must ask ourselves how
can the biological effects of red and NIR absorption be
so similar to those seen with FIR ? Perhaps some clue
can be obtained by considering the difference between
the two types of FIR therapy (heating and non-heating).
While heating FIR therapy is reported to increase blood
flow, this result may be the simple response of increased
thermoregulation that is known to occur when tissue
is warmed. However, it is possible that the increase in
blood flow, seen in non-heating FIR therapy, may be
similar in nature to that seen in LLLT, in other words, a
vasodilation due to NO release from stores in CCO [48]
as well as from NO bound to hemoglobin and myoglo-
bin [49] . How are we to explain cellular responses from
low fluences of FIR that are insufficient to produce
bulk heating of water in the tissue ? Perhaps the answer
lies in the concept of nanostructured water layers [50] .
These are thin (nano meters) layers of water that build
up on hydrophobic surfaces such as cellular mem-
branes, and they can be considered as concentrated
water [51] . If this description is correct, it is reasonable
to assume that relatively small amounts of vibrational
energy delivered by non-heating FIR could perturb the
structure of the membrane underlying the nanoscopic
water layer without bulk heating. Small perturbations
in membrane structure could have big effects at the
cell level if the membrane contains an ion channel. Ion
channels (many kinds for both cations and anions [52] )
are present in all cell membranes, but are particularly
common in mitochondrial membranes (both inner and
outer [53] ). If mitochondrial ion channels (particularly
calcium channels [54] ) could be opened by non-heating
FIR, thus increasing mitochondrial respiration, it would
explain how the overall therapeutic outcomes of LLLT
and non-heating FIR therapy are so similar.
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264F. Vatansever and M.R. Hamblin: FIR: Its biological effects and medical applications
It cannot be excluded that FIR could itself have effects
on CCO activity. A recent study has elucidated the exist-
ence of weakly H-bonded water molecules in bovine
CCO that might change during catalysis [55] . Fitting with
Gaussian components indicated the involvement of up
to eight waters in the photolysis transition. The fact that
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is exten-
sively employed to study the structure, function, and
dynamics of CCO [56, 57] suggests that it is possible that
the same wavelengths (FIR uses comparable wavelengths
to FTIR) could produce changes in conformation affecting
enzyme activity or binding of NO to the CuB site.
It must be emphasized that the above remains a hypo-
thetical explanation at present, but is clearly a testable
hypothesis. One could ask whether exposure of cells to non-
heating FIR can affect mitochondria by for instance increas-
ing ATP, increasing oxygen consumption, producing NO
and ROS, affecting MMP and calcium levels. One could also
ask whether cells that are rich in mitochondria respond well
to non-heating FIR, in the same way as they do to LLLT.
4 Conclusion
If it can be proved that non-heating FIR has real and sig-
nificant biological effects, then the possible future appli-
cations are wide ranging. Not only could bandages and
dressings made out of NIR emitting fabrics be applied
for many medical conditions and injuries that require
healing, but there is a large potential market in lifestyle
enhancing applications. Garments may be manufactured
for performance enhancing apparel in both leisure activi-
ties and competitive sports areas. Cold weather apparel
would perform better by incorporating FIR emitting capa-
bility and sleeping environments could be improved by
mattresses and bedding emitting FIR.
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the US
NIH (R01AI050875 to MRH).
Received August 24, 2012; revised September 6, 2012; accepted
September 6, 2012 ; previously published online October 16, 2012
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... is a subdivision of the IR band that transfers energy as heat that thermoreceptors can feel as radiant heat. 43 LCUs were used, the lower the amount of energy delivered, the lower the temperature rise inside the tooth. This agrees with a previous study that showed that the temperature rise was mainly determined by the radiant exposure. ...
Objective: To evaluate the in vitro pulpal temperature rise (ΔT) within the pulp chamber when low- and high-viscosity bulk-fill resin composites are photo-cured using laser or contemporary light curing units (LCUs). Materials and methods: The light output from five LCUs was measured. Non-retentive Class I and V cavities were prepared in one upper molar. Two T-type thermocouples were inserted into the pulp chamber. After the PT values reached 32°C under simulated pulp flow (0.026 mL/min), both cavities were restored with: Filtek One Bulk Fill (3 M), Filtek Bulk Fill Flow (3 M), Tetric PowerFill (Ivoclar Vivadent), or Tetric PowerFlow (Ivoclar Vivadent). The tooth was exposed as follows: Monet Laser (1 and 3 s), PowerCure (3 and 20 s), PinkWave (3 and 20 s), Valo X (5 and 20 s) and SmartLite Pro (20 s). The ΔT data were subjected to one-way ANOVA followed by Scheffe's post hoc test. Results: Monet 1 s (1.9 J) and PinkWave 20 s (30.1 J) delivered the least and the highest amount of energy, respectively. Valo X and PinkWave used for 20 s produced the highest ΔT values (3.4-4.1°C). Monet 1 s, PinkWave 3 s, PowerCure 3 s (except FB-Flow) and Monet 3 s for FB-One and TP-Fill produced the lowest ΔT values (0.9-1.7°C). No significant differences were found among composites. Conclusions: Short 1- to 3-s exposures produced acceptable temperature rises, regardless of the composite. Clinical significance: The energy delivered to the tooth by the LCUs affects the temperature rise inside the pulp. The short 1-3 s exposure times used in this study delivered the least amount of energy and produced a lower temperature rise. However, the RBC may not have received sufficient energy to be adequately photo-cured.
... Far-infrared light can penetrate up to 1.5 inches under the skin, and it has been reported to exhibit various positive biological effects, including ameliorating endothelial dysfunction [86]. Regarding AD, Li et al. conducted a comparative study on the therapeutic effect of visible, near-infrared, and far-ultraviolet rays on AD [87]. ...
Full-text available
Electroceuticals refer to various forms of electronic neurostimulators used for therapy. Interdisciplinary advances in medical engineering and science have led to the development of the electroceutical approach, which involves therapeutic agents that specifically target neural circuits, to realize precision therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To date, extensive studies have attempted to elucidate the disease-modifying effects of electroceuticals on areas in the brain of a patient with AD by the use of various physical stimuli, including electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic waves as well as ultrasound. Herein, we review non-invasive stimulatory systems and their effects on β-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which are pathological molecular markers of AD. Therefore, this review will aid in better understanding the recent technological developments, applicable methods, and therapeutic effects of electronic stimulatory systems, including transcranial direct current stimulation, 40-Hz gamma oscillations, transcranial magnetic stimulation, electromagnetic field stimulation, infrared light stimulation and ionizing radiation therapy, and focused ultrasound for AD.
The present study investigated the effects of a far-infrared radiation (FIR) lamp therapy on changes in muscle damage and proprioception markers after maximal eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors (EF: Study 1) and the knee flexors (KF: Study 2) in comparison to a sham treatment condition. In each study, 24 healthy sedentary women were assigned to a FIR or a sham treatment group (n = 12/group). They performed 72 maximal EF eccentric contractions (Study 1) or 100 maximal KF eccentric contractions (Study 2) with their non-dominant limbs. They received a 30-min FIR (wavelength: 8-14 µm) or sham treatment at 1, 25, 49, 73 and 97 hours post-exercise to the exercised muscles. Maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) torque, muscle soreness, plasma creatine kinase activity, and proprioception assessed by position sense, joint reaction angle, and force match were measured before, and 0.5, 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 hours post-exercise. The outcome measures showed significant changes (P < 0.05) at 0.5-hour post-exercise (before treatment) similarly (P > 0.05) between the conditions in both studies. However, changes in all measures at 24-120 hours post-exercise were smaller (P < 0.05) for the FIR than sham condition in both studies. For example, MVC torque returned to the baseline by 72 hours post-exercise for the FIR condition in both studies, but was still 19 ± 6% (Study 1) or 17 ± 12% (Study 2) lower than the baseline at 120 hours post-exercise for the sham condition. These results suggested that the FIR lamp therapy was effective for accelerating recovery from muscle damage.
Measuring vital body signals is essential to measure basic body functions, prevent misdiagnosis, detect underlying health problems and motivate healthy lifestyle changes. Vital body signals are measured at the fingertips because the skin is thin, and the blood vessels are transparent. Visible light is passed at the fingertips, and the pulses generated are still acceptable on the outer nail. However, the body's vital signal measuring device continuously attached to the fingertip causes discomfort to the user. Therefore, in this study, it is proposed to measure the body's vital signals in other body parts. The wrist was chosen to be attached to the body's vital signal measuring device because the measuring device attached to the wrist allows it to continue to be used. This study aims to measure the body's vital signals, especially heart rate, on the wrist so that the correlation level of the measurement data is known. The main contribution of this study is built an electronic system to measure vital body signals, especially heart rate at the wrist with the help of the MAX30102 sensor that uses visible light with 650 - 670 nm. The MAX30102 sensor, which uses visible light with 650 - 670 nm, was selected for measurement. The ratio of the light reflected through the fingertips compared to the wrist. The result of measuring the heart rate signal on the wrist is in the form of a relatively flat wave so that the data sharpening process is carried out using the detrend method. The results showed that the measurement of heart rate signals at the wrist and fingertips of 15 respondents had accuration 85%. The accuration value shows that the data from the heart rate signal at the wrist is closely correlated with the data from the measurement of the heart rate signal at the fingertips. Therefore, measurements of heart rate signals, usually performed on the fingertips, can also be performed on the wrist. From the test results with a strong accuration, measurements are always taken when the hand can measure the place to measure vital signals, which is usually done at the fingertips.
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Photobiomodulation (PBM) portrays the utilization of red or near infrared light to stimulate, heal, recover, and protect tissue that has either been harmed, is degenerating, or, else likely is in risk of dying. The brain experiences various issues that can be ordered into three general groupings: traumatic (stroke, traumatic brain injury, and global ischemia), degenerative diseases (dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), and psychiatric (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder). There is some proof that this multitude of apparently different circumstances can be advantageously impacted by applying light to the head. There is even the likelihood that PBM could be utilized for cognitive enhancement in normal healthy individuals. In this transcranial PBM (tPBM) application, near infrared (NIR) light is frequently applied to the forehead in view of the better entrance (no hair, longer wavelength). A few workers have utilized lasers, yet as of late the presentation of modest light emitting diode (LED) arrays has permitted the improvement of light radiating head helmets or "brain caps". This review will cover the mechanisms of action of photobiomodulation to the brain and sum up some of the key pre-clinical studies and clinical trials that have been embraced for different brain disorders.
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This study was initiated to establish whether spatio-spectral Eigen-modes of EEG brain waves can be described by an Acoustic Quantum Code of Resonant Coherence, as found by us earlier in a spectrum of animate and inanimate systems. Presently available EEG-and MEG recordings were analyzed as to their peak frequencies in relation to our Quantum Code coherence values. Both the EEG-and MEG studies of healthy persons exhibited quantum coherence of EEG peaks with mean quantum coherence of 0.95 (an average of 90-100% showed coherent peak values), while in patient groups with various mental disorders, a significant decrease of coherence correlation was found. ADHD subjects show a moderate change in peak coherence, being in the range of 1.0 to 0.83, while during epileptic seizures the degree of peak coherence is reduced to a range of 0.94 to 0.75. Depressed patients have EEG peaks with a consistently lower coherence values than healthy persons: 0.77-0.88, while autistic persons show an even lower coherence of 0.50 till 0.75. Patients with severe psychiatric disorders, such as depression, show a coherence of only 0.49-0.61. The importance of EEG brain coherence for conscious states was demonstrated in patients under anaesthesia that exhibited a very low coherence level of about 0.25. The graded loss of brain EEG coherence combined with alterations in Phi based EEG wave separation, can therefore be of value for differentiation in severity and nature of neurological disorders. The value of our frequency algorithm was also shown for trans-cranial therapy: the presently chosen frequencies of rTMS therapy in clinical practice correspond very well with the values of our algorithm. Of interest, the Acoustic Quantum Code pattern was also shown to describe neuronal microtubular (MT) wave frequencies, as measured in vitro by others. MT oscillations were claimed by Hameroff and Penrose to be instrumental in the creation of brain consciousness through alignment with gravity fluctuation at the Planck scale. Our results on brain EEG coherence are therefore discussed in relation to the current models for understanding the nature of (self)-consciousness. We regard the potential relation between neuronal coherence/decoherence balance and conscious states as a central mechanism for producing quantum entanglement in the brain as related to long-distance neuro-communication and brain binding. As postulated earlier, consciousness can be modelled by a 5D brain-associated, toroidal workspace, that provides quality control and monitoring of integral brain function, according to holographic principles and was earlier framed as the "Event Horizon Brain". Consciousness, in this concept, requires photon/phonon mediated and resonant communication with this field-receptive holographic workspace, seen as associated with but not reducible to the human brain. The related brain supervening role of the event horizon workspace requires the collective conscious and unconscious states and realizes a total holographic modality of consciousness that enables effective predictive coding. This 5D, scale invariant, memory workspace, therefore, can be instrumental in the manifestation of Psi phenomena and experiences of cosmic consciousness. At the sub-atomic level, gravity guided quantum tunnelling and coherence of micro-tubular oscillations may produce neuronal entanglement. The latter represents a dominant factor in long distance neural information transfer and functional brain binding. The resulting synchronization of neural network frequencies is likely reflected in the abovementioned brain coherency of EEG peaks, as well as in various mental states that promote feelings of mental wholeness in meditation and psycho-drug therapy. 2
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Excessive exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes human health damages, such as sunburns and skin cancer. Thus, the use of sun-protective clothing is a simple, easy, and practical method for UV protection of the human organism. In this perspective, incorporation, coating, and anchorage of UV-protective compounds in textile fibers have been employed to enhance the UV-blocking ability and/or promote functional finishings to smart fabrics. This review describes recent research efforts on the development of UV-protective compound-containing smart fabrics highlighting the UV-blocking properties and multifunctional activities. Different compound class examples and discussions are presented in order to contribute to new insights into sun-protective clothing and future applications of multifunctional textiles.
Macca carbon (MC), derived from high-temperature carbonized macadamia nut-in-shell wastes from macadamia nut processing, exhibits a high surface area, high number of electrons, and high efficiency in emitting far-infrared (FIR) radiation at wavelengths between 4 and 20 μm. Numerous inventions have demonstrated promising results in health improvement applications, such as increased blood circulation, less inflammation, and enhanced life expectancy. In this study, MC and a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) were coupled to form a new bandage called an MC cohesive bandage. It was manufactured by combining various quantities of MC powder with PSA and applying it to a spandex fabric tape. The peeling test, water permeability, and skin irritation were examined. The quantity of FIR radiation between 6 and 14 μm and the thermal properties of MC cohesive bandages were investigated. The FIR penetration effectiveness was determined by measuring the temperature rises from the streaky pig skin covered with MC cohesive bandages at various depths.
La survenue d’altérations neuromusculaires et musculo tendineuses lors d’épreuves de course à pied de fond s’avère être délétère sur la capacité de performance d’endurance et la période de récupération des athlètes. Par ailleurs, la sévérité de ces perturbations peut être exacerbée par les caractéristiques du terrain, et plus particulièrement par la présence de dénivelé négatif. En course à pied de descente, l’amplitude plus importante de ces altérations est sous-tendue par la prédominance du régime de contraction excentrique à l’exercice. Dès lors, la course à pied de descente constitue un challenge pour les coureurs dans leur quête d’excellence athlétique, aussi bien à l’entraînement que lors d’épreuves compétitives. L’exploration de stratégies préventives, ayant pour objectif de mieux tolérer les sections de course à pied en descente, apparaît donc pleinement justifiée dans le domaine de l’optimisation des réponses adaptatives en course à pied. Dans ce contexte, une première analyse prospective de la littérature a focalisé sur l’exploration des stratégies de répétitions de sessions (c.-à-d., usage chronique de la course à pied en descente) et du port in situ de textiles vestimentaires à visée ergogénique (e.g., textiles de compression et réflecteurs de rayons infrarouges lointains). Étant donné que l’usage chronique de la course à pied en descente pourrait également permettre l’instauration d’adaptations bénéfiques sur la capacité de performance des athlètes, il convenait au préalable de préciser les adaptations neuromusculaires et musculo-tendineuses à l’entraînement de course à pied en descente. Ainsi, les objectifs du travail de thèse étaient de caractériser les adaptations neuromusculaires et musculo-tendineuses à l’entraînement de course à pied en descente d’une part, et d’enrichir nos connaissances sur l’apport de stratégies préventives dans le domaine de la course à pied de fond, d’autre part. Les résultats de ce travail ont montré que : (i) l’entraînement de course à pied en descente (4 semaines) peut instaurer de rapides adaptations neuromusculaires (e.g., gains de force, hypertrophie musculaire) et tendineuses (par exemple, augmentation de la raideur du tendon patellaire), sans pour autant atténuer la sévérité des perturbations neuromusculaires à l’issue d’une session de course à pied en descente ; (ii) que le port de textiles de compression à l’exercice peut exercer un « effet protecteur dynamique » sur les groupes musculaires compressés, sans pour autant atténuer les perturbations de la capacité de performance d’endurance des athlètes ; et (iii) que le port de textiles réflecteurs de rayons infrarouges à l’exercice pourrait générer certains effets ergogéniques mais que la compréhension de leurs effets reste à ce jour globalement limitée.
Photobiomodulation (otherwise known as low level light therapy) is an emerging approach for treating many diseases and conditions such as pain, inflammation, wound healing, brain disorders, hair regrowth etc. The light used in this therapy generally lies in the red and near-infrared spectral regions. Despite many positive studies for treating different conditions, this therapy still faces some skepticism, which has prevented its widespread adoption in clinics. The main reasons behind this skepticism are the lack of comprehensive information about the molecular, cellular, and tissular mechanisms of action, which underpin the positive effects of photobiomodulation. Moreover, there is also another therapeutic application using longer wavelength infrared radiation, involving either infrared saunas or heat lamps which are powered by electricity, as well as infrared emitting textiles and garments which are solely powered by the wearer's own body heat. In recent years, much knowledge has been gained about the mechanism of action underlying these treatments, which will be summarized in this review. There are three broad classes of primary chromophores, which have so far been identified. One is mitochondrial cytochromes (including cytochrome c oxidase), another is opsins and light or heat-sensitive calcium ion channels, and a third is nanostructured water clusters. Light sensitive ion channels are activated by the absorption of light by the chromophore proteins, opsin-3 and opsin-4, while mitochondrial chromophores are activated by red or near-infra red (NIR) light up to about 850 nm. However NIR light at 980 nm or longer wavelengths can activate transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, probably after being absorbed by nanostructured water clusters. Heat-activated TRP channels undergo a conformational change triggered by only small temperature changes. Here we will discuss the role of opsins and light or heat activated TRP channels in the mechanism of photobiomodulation and infrared therapy.
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The biological effects of specific wavelengths, so-called “far-infrared radiation” produced from ceramic material (cFIR), on whole organisms are not yet well understood. In this study, we investigated the biological effects of cFIR on murine melanoma cells (B16-F10) at body temperature. cFIR irradiation treatment for 48 h resulted in an 11.8% decrease in the proliferation of melanoma cells relative to the control. Meanwhile, incubation of cells with cFIR for 48 h significantly resulted in 56.9% and 15.7% decreases in the intracellular heat shock protein (HSP)70 and intracellular nitric oxide (iNO) contents, respectively. Furthermore, cFIR treatment induced 6.4% and 12.3% increases in intracellular reactive oxygen species stained by 5-(and 6)-carboxyl- 2 ′ , 7 ′ -dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and dihydrorhodamine 123, respectively. Since malignant melanomas are known to have high HSP70 expression and iNO activity, the suppressive effects of cFIR on HSP70 and NO may warrant future interest in antitumor applications.
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The use of low levels of visible or near infrared light for reducing pain, inflammation and edema, promoting healing of wounds, deeper tissues and nerves, and preventing tissue damage by reducing cellular apoptosis has been known for almost forty years since the invention of lasers. Despite many reports of positive findings from experiments conducted in vitro, in animal models and in randomized controlled clinical trials, LLLT remains controversial. Firstly the biochemical mechanisms underlying the positive effects are incompletely understood, and secondly the complexity of choosing amongst a large number of illumination parameters has led to the publication of a number of negative studies as well as many positive ones. This review will focus on the role of nitric oxide in the cellular and tissue effects of LLLT. Red and near-IR light is primarily absorbed by cytochrome c oxidase (unit four in the mitochondrial respiratory chain). Nitric oxide produced in the mitochondria can inhibit respiration by binding to cytochrome c oxidase and competitively displacing oxygen, especially in stressed or hypoxic cells. If light absorption displaced the nitric oxide and thus allowed the cytochrome c oxidase to recover and cellular respiration to resume, this would explain many of the observations made in LLLT. Why the effect is only seen in hypoxic, stressed or damaged cells or tissues? How the effects can keep working for some time (hours or days) postillumination? Why increased NO concentrations are sometimes measured in cell culture or in animals? How blood flow can be increased? Why angiogenesis is sometimes increased after LLLT in vivo?
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This study investigated the therapeutic effect of the far-infrared ray-emitting belt (FIRB) in the management of primary dysmenorrhea in female patients. Forty adolescent females with primary dysmenorrhea were enrolled in the study. Quantitative measurements were taken during the menstruation. Several parameters were measured and compared, including temperature, abdominal blood flow, heart rate variability, and pain assessment. Statistical analysis shows that treatment with FIRB had significant efficiency in increasing regional surface temperature and abdominal blood flow, widening standard deviation of normal-to-normal RR intervals, and reducing VRS and NRS pain scores. The application of an FIRB appears to alleviate dysmenorrhea.
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Rare earth mineral composite materials were prepared using tourmaline and cerous nitrate as raw materials. Through characterization by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy, dynamic contact angle meter and tensiometer, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, it was found that the composite materials had a better far infrared emitting performance than tourmaline, which depended on many factors such as material composition, microstructure, and surface free energy. Based on the results of the flue gas analyzer and the water boiling test, it was found that the rare earth mineral composite materials could accelerate the combustion of liquefied petroleum gas and diesel oil. The results showed that the addition of Ce led to the improvement of far infrared emitting performance of tourmaline due to the decrease of cell volume caused by the oxidation of more Fe2+ ions and the increase of surface free energy. The application of rare earth mineral composite materials to diesel oil led to a decrease in surface tension and flash point, and the fuel saving ratio could reach 4.5%. When applied to liquefied petroleum gas, the composite materials led to the enhanced combustion, improved fuel consumption by 6.8%, and decreased concentration of CO and O2 in exhaust gases by 59.7% and 16.2%, respectively; but the temperature inside the flue increased by 10.3%.
Far infrared (FIR) rays are used for many therapeutic purposes, but the intracellular mechanisms of their beneficial effects have not been entirely elucidated. The purposes of this study were thus to explore the effects of ceramic-generated far infrared ray (cFIR) on RAW 264.7 cells by determining the scavenging activity of hydrogen peroxide (H 2O 2), cell viability, and changes in cytochrome c levels and the NADP +/NADPH ratios. The results showed that the H 2O 2-scavenging activity directly increased by 10.26% after FIR application. Additional FIR treatment resulted in increased viability of murine macrophages with different concentrations of H 2O 2. cFIR significantly inhibited intracellular peroxide levels and LPS-induced peroxide production by macrophages. The increased ratio of hypodiploid cells elicited by H 2O 2 was significantly reduced by cFIR. The effects of cFIR on H 2O 2 toxicity were determined by measuring intracellular changes in cytochrome c levels and the ratio of NADP +/NADPH, and results showed that cFIR may block ROS-mediated cytotoxicity. In conclusion, data from this study suggest that cFIR may possess antiapoptotic effects by reducing ROS production by macrophages. We also review past articles related to the effects of oxidative stress from metabolically produced H 2O 2, and discuss possible beneficial effects of cFIR on living tissues.
Previous research has identified that ceramic far infrared (cFIR)-emitting material can modulate various biological processes, particularly those involving hydrogen peroxide scavenging and antioxidant activities. The present study treated MCF-10A cells with 50 and 100 μM hydrogen peroxide before incubating them for 24 h on the top of The present study treated MCF-10A cells with 50 and 100 μM hydrogen peroxide before incubating them for 24 h on the top of cFIR or control powder. cFIR or control powder. Cells were also treated with ionizing radiation from a fluoroscopic X-ray source to induce cell damage and cultured for 48 h beneath cFIR or control powder. The effects of cFIR on cell survival were evaluated using XTT and MTT assays. A total accumulated radiation dose of 1 Gy to 2 Gy was sufficient to cause cell damage and reduce cell viability. In both the hydrogen peroxide toxicity and radiation exposure experimental models, the cFIR groups demonstrated significantly higher cell survival rates than those of the control groups (p < 0.05). Considering the relationship between indirect-ionizing-radiation- and oxidative-stress- induced cell damage and the accumulation of free radicals, these results indicate that the protection of cFIR against ionizing radiation is predominantly through an antioxidant mechanism. cFIR-emitting material has potential use in reducing radiation damage caused by medical instruments and radiation pollution.
Far infrared rays (FIRs) have several proven effects on the human body and are generally considered to be biologically beneficial. In this study, we determined the effect of FIRs on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-scavenging activity, which was directly increased by 10.26% after FIR application. Even in the indirect use of FIRs accompanying carrot extract, FIRs still contributed to a 5.48% increase in H2O2-scavenging activity. We further proved that additional FIR treatment resulted in about 23.02% and 18.77% viability increases of osteoblast cells in the 200 and 800 μM H2O2, respectively; and about 25.67% and 47.16% viability increases of fibroblast cells in the 25 and 50 μM H2O2, respectively. Finally, FIR treatment also delayed senescence of detached Railway Beggarticks leaves in H2O2 solution with the concentrations of 10, 100, and 1000 μM. By reviewing past articles related to the effects of oxidative stress from metabolically produced H2O2, we discuss possible benefits of FIRs for plants and animals.
Waon therapy is a form of thermal treatment in a dry sauna maintained at a temperature of 60°C, which differs from the traditional sauna. Waon therapy reportedly improves the hemodynamics, cardiac function, ventricular arrhythmias, vascular endothelial function, neurohormonal factors, sympathetic nervous system function, and symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). It has also been demonstrated that the molecular mechanism by which Waon therapy improves vascular flow and endothelial function involves increased expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Furthermore, in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia, repeated Waon therapy increased eNOS protein expression, blood flow, and capillary density. Moreover, Waon therapy did not increase blood flow and capillary density in eNOS-deficient mice, indicating that eNOS is a critical regulator of the angiogenesis induced by this therapy. Moreover, repeated Waon therapy is effective for patients with severe peripheral arterial disease (PAD), as evidenced by substantial decrease in pain scores, increases in both ankle-brachial pressure index and blood flow assessed by laser Doppler perfusion imaging, and by formation of new collateral vessels on angiography. In addition, ischemic ulcers heal or improve markedly. In conclusion, Waon therapy is an innovative and highly promising strategy for treating CHF and PAD. (Circ J 2010; 74: 617-621)
Photobiomodulation with near infrared light (NIR) provides cellular protection in various disease models. Previously, infrared light emitted by a low-energy laser has been shown to significantly improve recovery from ischemic injury of the canine heart. The goal of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that NIR (670 nm) from light emitting diodes produces cellular protection against hypoxia and reoxygenation-induced cardiomyocyte injury. Additionally, nitric oxide (NO) was investigated as a potential cellular mediator of NIR. Our results demonstrate that exposure to NIR at the time of reoxygenation protects neonatal rat cardiomyocytes and HL-1 cells from injury, as assessed by lactate dehydrogenase release and MTT assay. Similarly, indices of apoptosis, including caspase 3 activity, annexin binding and the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosol, were decreased after NIR treatment. NIR increased NO in cardiomyocytes, and the protective effect of NIR was completely reversed by the NO scavengers carboxy-PTIO and oxyhemoglobin, but only partially blocked by the NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NMMA. Mitochondrial metabolism, measured by ATP synthase activity, was increased by NIR, and NO-induced inhibition of oxygen consumption with substrates for complex I or complex IV was reversed by exposure to NIR. Taken together these data provide evidence for protection against hypoxia and reoxygenation injury in cardiomyocytes by NIR in a manner that is dependent upon NO derived from NOS and non-NOS sources.