Many studies have shown the positive effects of low-level laser therapy in the treatment of bone disease. However, laser radiation is scattered in the skin surface which reduces the initial photon density for tissue penetration and consequently the therapeutic efficacy. We developed a minimally invasive laser needle system (MILNS) to avoid laser scattering in tissue and investigated its stimulatory effects in the cortical bone of osteoporotic mice. The MILNS was designed to stimulate cortical bone directly by employing fine hollow needles to guide 100 μm optical fibers. The study animals comprised 12 mice which were subjected to sciatic denervation of the right hind limb and were randomly divided into two groups, a sham group and a laser group which were treated using the MILNS for 2 weeks without and with laser irradiation, respectively. In vivo micro-CT images were taken to analyze the structural parameters and bone mineral density. After 2 weeks of treatment with the MILNS, the relative changes in mean polar moment inertia, cross-section thickness, and periosteal perimeter were significantly higher in the laser group than in the sham group. Moreover, the distribution of bone mineral density index was higher in the laser group. The MILNS was developed as a minimally invasive treatment modality for bone disease and resulted in positive therapeutic efficacy in the cortical bone of osteoporotic mice.
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