Biomedical Engineering Letters

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 351–358 | Cite as

Applications of photobiomodulation in hearing research: from bench to clinic

  • Jae-Hun Lee
  • Sehwan Kim
  • Jae Yun Jung
  • Min Young LeeEmail author
Review Article


Hearing loss is very common and economically burdensome. No accepted therapeutic modality for sensorineural hearing loss is yet available; most clinicians emphasize rehabilitation, placing hearing aids and cochlear implants. Photobiomodulation (PBM) employs light energy to enhance or modulate the activities of specific organs, and is a popular non-invasive therapy used to treat skin lesions and neurodegenerative disorders. Efforts to use PBM to improve hearing have been ongoing for several decades. Initial in vitro studies using cell lines and ex vivo culture techniques have now been supplanted by in vivo studies in animals; PBM protects the sensory epithelium and triggers neural regeneration. Many reports have used PBM to treat tinnitus. In this brief review, we introduce PBM applications in hearing research, helpful protocols, and relevant background literature.


Photobiomodulation Low-level laser therapy Hearing loss 



This study was supported by the Ministry of Science, Information and Communications technology (ICT) and Future Planning grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2017R1D1A1B03033219), and supported by the Ministry of Science, Information and Communications technology (ICT) and Future Planning grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2016R1D1A1B03932624).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Medical and Biological Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jae-Hun Lee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Sehwan Kim
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jae Yun Jung
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Min Young Lee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Program for Medical LaserDankook UniversityCheonanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Beckman Laser Institute KoreaDankook UniversityCheonanSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck SurgeryDankook University HospitalCheonanSouth Korea
  4. 4.College of MedicineDankook UniversityCheonanSouth Korea

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