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OSA Incubator on Photobiomodulation

The Optical Society of America (OSA), the established, prestigious organization dedicated to optics convened the 2nd Photobiomodulation Incubator.


The Optical Society of America (OSA), the established, prestigious organization dedicated to optics convened the 2nd Photobiomodulation Incubator. OSA Incubators are an opportunity for people to convene to discuss best ways to move optics or optics / light based technologies forward. This is the second meeting that members of the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) were invited.

This Incubator focused on the discussion and dissemination of scientifically sound research in the field of Photobiomodulation (PBM) and next steps forward. This meeting convened a broad group of 47 highly qualified individuals working in the area of lasers and light-based medical research and therapeutic devices to discuss the future of PBM in health. A key aim was to articulate a common mission for PBM research and applications. It featured speakers with a current portfolio of peer-reviewed scientific publications, FDA staff, Harvard and NIH faculty, association executives and experts in strategic initiative thinking and implementation. Discussions focused on medical and dental technology adoption, government regulations, ethical concerns, barriers to adoption and what needs to occur organizationally to propel PBM forward.

The ALD as a model well-designed professional healthcare association dedicated to meeting our mission of educating dentists for improved patient care was evident to a broader scientific audience. Scott Faulkner, lead strategist, helped the group to focus on what it will take to make strides in acceptance.

The final discussion defined the themes expressed throughout the Incubator: the need for large, well-funded clinical studies, for targeted applications, for organization, and, above all, for increased awareness throughout the medical and dental communities. The discussion identified several paths forward to help achieve those goals and a plan to continue the dialog. These next steps are critical to building the strategic ways and means that can systematically promote the development of scientifically robust PBM knowledge along with accountable technology, and techniques. This work marks a huge step forward in light based technology. Stay tuned for more coming from this community over the coming weeks, months and years.

Dr. Praveen Arany, the Chair of ALD’s University & Academia Relations Committee, Asst Professor, Oral Biology, University at Buffalo was among the lead scientists at this proceedings. Dr. Don Patthoff, ALD’s Ethics Chair was a host organizer. Gail Siminovsky, CAE was invited for her leadership expertise in professional organizations in healthcare. Dr. Arun Darbar (UK) and Dr. Gerry Ross (Canada) were invited as dentists with keen interest in this field having participated in several Engineering Conference International (ECI) meetings. James Carroll, Thor Photomedicine, Ltd, shared industry successes and concerns. Dr. Arany’s research over the last decade has focused on the mechanisms of light-biology in animals and humans moving from molecular mechanisms to practical, clinical treatment possibilities. It is these connections in dentistry – more than the strong clinical evidence and many clinical dental units - that has drawn the serious attention of OSA at this time and the increased involvement and cooperation of the FDA. Dr. Arany’s first involvement with the Academy of Laser Dentistry was as a Dr. Eugene Seidner Student Scholar Honoree in 2011, while he was a graduate student at Harvard for his seminal work on the role of laser-activated growth factor, TGF-beta1 on dental stem cells for dentin regeneration. In 2015, a fellow from his lab Elieza Tang, currently a dental student at Midwestern University, received the same honor for her work on the role of lasers in peri-implant mucositis.

In 2014, Scott Benjamin, Praveen Arany, Don Patthoff, Gerry Ross, Arun Darbar and Gail Siminovsky participated in the first OSA Photobiomodulation Incubator. The ALD is an early adopter in providing scientifically sound presentations on PBM to its members. The upcoming 23rd ALD Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, FL, April 2016 promises CE tracks on PBM.

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Gail Siminovsky CAE
[ ALD Executive Director ]