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A Review of Current Research in Light-Based Technologies for Treatment of Podiatric Infectious Disease States

Eric Bornstein Nomir Medical Technologies, Inc, 307 Waverley Oaks Road, Suite 109, Waltham, MA 02452. (E-mail: ebornstein@nomirmedical.com)

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Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in potential phototherapy technologies for the local treatment of bacterial and fungal infection. Currently, onychomycosis is the principle disease that is the target of these phototherapies in podiatric medicine. Some of these technologies are currently undergoing in vitro and in vivo trials approved by institutional review boards. The three light-based technologies are ultraviolet light therapy, near infrared photo-inactivation therapy, and photothermal ablative antisepsis. Each of these technologies have markedly dissimilar mechanisms of action. In this review, each technology will be discussed from the perspectives of history, photobiology, individual mechanism of action, safety, and potential clinical efficacy, with data presented from published material. This review is intended to give podiatric physicians detailed information on state-of-the-art infectious disease phototherapy. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 348–352, 2009)