J Korean Med Sci.  2005 Feb;20(1):61-64. 10.3346/jkms.2005.20.1.61.

In vitro and in vivo Efficacy of New Blue Light Emitting Diode Phototherapy Compared to Conventional Halogen Quartz Phototherapy for Neonatal Jaundice

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical Center, Samsung Cheil Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. mhlee@smc.samsung.co.kr
  • 2Department of Biomedical, Samsung Medical Center, Samsung Cheil Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Engineering, Samsung Medical Center, Samsung Cheil Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


High intensity light emitting diodes (LEDs) are being studied as possible light sources for the phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, as they can emit high intensity light of narrow wavelength band in the blue region of the visible light spectrum corresponding to the spectrum of maximal bilirubin absorption. We developed a prototype blue gallium nitride LED phototherapy unit with high intensity, and compared its efficacy to commercially used halogen quartz phototherapy device by measuring both in vitro and in vivo bilirubin photodegradation. The prototype device with two focused arrays, each with 500 blue LEDs, generated greater irradiance than the conventional device tested. The LED device showed a significantly higher efficacy of bilirubin photodegradation than the conventional phototherapy in both in vitro experiment using microhematocrit tubes (44 +/-7% vs. 35 +/-2%) and in vivo experiment using Gunn rats (30 +/-9% vs. 16 +/-8%). We conclude that high intensity blue LED device was much more effective than conventional phototherapy of both in vitro and in vivo bilirubin photodegradation. Further studies will be necessary to prove its clinical efficacy.


Jaundice, Neonatal; Phototherapy; Rats, Gunn

MeSH Terms

In Vitro
Rats, Gunn
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


  • Fig. 1 A prototype phototherapy device made of two focused arrays, each with 500 high intensity blue gallium nitride light emitting diodes (LEDs).

  • Fig. 2 Comparison of both in vitro and in vivo efficacy of bilirubin photodegradation between the blue LED and conventional phototherapy unit. Data are expressed as mean±standard deviation. a: p<0.05 compared to conventional phototherapy.


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