Photochem Photobiol. 2022 Aug 25. doi: 10.1111/php.13702. Online ahead of print.
Several diseases or conditions cause dermatological disorders that hinder the process of skin repair. The search for novel technologies has inspired the combination of stem cell (SC) and light-based therapies to ameliorate skin wound repair. Herein, we systematically revised the impact of photobiomodulation therapy (PBM) combined with SCs in animal models of skin wounds and quantitatively evaluated this effect through a meta-analysis. For inclusion, SCs should be irradiated in vitro or in vivo, before or after being implanted in animals, respectively. The search resulted in nine eligible articles, which were assessed for risk of bias. For the meta-analysis, studies were included only when PBM was applied in vivo, five regarding wound closure, and three to wound strength. Overall, a positive influence of SC+PBM on wound closure (MD: 9.69; 95%CI: 5.78 to 13.61, p<0.00001) and strength (SMD: 1.7, 95%CI: 0.68 to 2.72, p=0.001) was detected, although studies have shown moderate to high heterogeneity and a lack of information regarding some bias domains. Altogether, PBM seems to be an enabling technology able to be applied post-implantation of SCs for cutaneous regeneration. Our findings may guide future laboratory and clinical studies in hopes of offering wound care patients a better quality of life.