LED arrays can be used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) – a process that can be used for the selective destruction of cells without harming adjacent tissue, with applications in the treatment of skin cancers, acne and in cosmetic therapies.
The technique uses special photosensitising agents which when irradiated with light at a specific wavelength, react with oxygen in tissues to bring about cell death. The treatment has been applied to a number of malignant and benign skin disorders. LED sources have advantages over the use of lasers in PDT, which are more expensive than LEDs and require special precautions to be taken.
There is also a range of current and potential scientific applications for LEDs, including UV curing of adhesives and coatings, forensic and chemical analysis, air and water sterilisation, and spectroscopy.