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March 07, 2011

NASA helps cancer patients

NASA created a light technology that can now be used as a far red/near infrared Light Emitting Diode treatment called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate (HEALS) to treat oral mucositis - a common and extremely painful side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Originally this technology was intended for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions; however, NASA has managed to develop the HEALS technology for use in medical fields. WARP 75 light delivery system (the HEALS device) allows LED chips to function at their maximum irradiancy without emitting heat. These LEDs release long wavelengths of light that stimulate cells to aid in healing. This provides a proactive therapy for symptoms of mucositis, helping suffering cancer patients around the world.

I find it amazing that NASA, an organization dedicated to the universe beyond Earth, has managed to invent a technology that will impact the lives of some many here on Earth.

To read more about HEALS and the use for it in the future, visit this website:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110306151532.htm

Posted by ccastel at March 7, 2011 12:24 PM

Comments

NASA spin-offs are quite amazing. As much as I personally disagree with NASA spending all of its money on the ISS, NASA has done so many amazing things. The demise of NASA is the demise of US innovation. And of course, there's an App for that:
http://i.space.com/10648-nasa-technology-spinoff-android-app.html

Posted by: christoq at March 9, 2011 05:32 PM

After reading the article, I was completely in awe over this new device that Nasa created. According to the article, the device is "less expensive than a day at the hospital and a proactive therapy for symptoms of mucositis that are currently difficult to treat without additional, negative side effects.". Not only that, but each of the 288 LED chips that it uses provides the same amount of light energy as about 12 suns! It's amazing to see new technology like this being created to improve the lives of people suffering with cancer. I think it would be interesting to watch NASA team up with more medical research teams to see if more could be done in a similar matter.

Posted by: alymro at March 19, 2011 11:29 AM

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