Although low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been a valuable therapeutic technology in the clinic, its efficacy may be reduced in deep tissue layers due to strong light scattering which limits the photon density. In order to enhance the photon density in deep tissue layers, this study developed an optical tissue clearing (OTC) laser probe (OTCLP) system which can utilize four different OTC methods: 1) tissue temperature control from 40 to <TEX>$10^{\circ}C$</TEX>; 2) laser pulse frequency from 5 to 30 Hz; 3) glycerol injection at a local region; and 4) a combination of the aforementioned three methods. The efficacy of the OTC methods was evaluated and compared by investigating laser beam profiles in ex-vivo porcine skin samples. Results demonstrated that total (peak) intensity at full width at half maximum of laser beam profile when compared to control data was increased: 1) 1.21(1.39)-fold at <TEX>$10^{\circ}C$</TEX>; 2) 1.22 (1.49)-fold at a laser pulse frequency of 5 Hz; 3) 1.64 (2.41)-fold with 95% glycerol injection; 4) 1.86 (3.4)-fold with the combination method. In conclusion, the OTCLP system successfully improved the laser photon density in deep tissue layers and may be utilized as a useful tool in LLLT by increasing laser photon density.

© 2013 Optical Society of Korea

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