Theralase was in the news recently. The Theralase CEO allegedly stole thousands from investors (Yahoo Finance Summary)
The Theralase® TLC-1000® products are based on superpulsing technology and wavelengths just like the TerraQuant and Lumix products. We do not sell the Theralase® but we mention it here because they are one of the 3 biggest laser manufacturers that believes that superpulsing produces better results than standard pulsing or continuous wave lasers. This is a big philosophical difference that separates these lasers from the core concepts of photobiomodulation, which is based on target dosages as the key efficacy value. These products put a big emphasis on the frequency that the laser is superpulsing as the key to adapting the laser for different conditions. The concept of optimum frequencies to stimulate the body is also popular in other modalities and was partially pioneered by Erchonia®, who uses a very low power red laser and multiple complex pulsing frequencies to treat common conditions.
Another manufacturer that bases their product around pulsing only is PowerMedic. Their technology is call "hyperpulsing" and it differs from superpulsing in that they have a very high duty-cycle so their lasers are on more than they are off. Superpulsing laser are off more than they are on. Superpulsing allows for the extremely high peak power levels up to 250,000mW without the risk of heating or tissue damage.
All 3 major brands use similar wavelengths operating mainly at 905nm and similar power levels ranging from 15,000 to 250,000mW. If these power level were used in a non-pulsing laser, they would be considered dangerous and could cause tissue heating and eye damage. Fortunately, superpulsing makes the laser safe enough that the Theralase and TerraQuant system are not even rated as class 3b lasers. Lumix system are either class 3b or class 4 depending on the system. The Lumix lasers combine the concept of high power super or hyperpulsing lasers with continuous output laser diodes for the best of both worlds.
Theralase® offers 2 groups of products (Portable and handheld). The first group uses a battery operated (rechargeable) desktop controller that works with 3 optional probes. The second group of products is a set of handheld cordless emitters. All their probes use at least one 50,000 mW super-pulsed 905 nm (near infrared) emitters as the main source of energy. Their cluster probes also include 2 or 4 beams at 660 nm wavelength (visible red). The output power for the 660 nm wavelengths is about 25 mW (average power) so it is really insignificant compared to the laser power at 905nm but the red light is illuminates the treatment area and lets people know that the laser is on. Without it, someone might look directly into a laser that is putting out enough invisible energy (at 905nm) to damage their eyes.
Some of the markets for the Theralase® are:
- Pain Management in humans
- Smoking Cessation & Weight Loss in humans using the single probe
- Companion Animal, Home and Veterinary practices
- Cancer treatment (Search on"Theralase Launches Multi Wavelength Laser for Cancer Destruction")
They are really on the leading edge with claims of treating cancer. The only other company that tried to make these type of claims was the Q1000 and the FDA shut them down for a while.
They also offer a wide range of accessories including hands-free boom for unattended therapy.
Based on their technology, Theralase® claims:
- 4 inches of penetration with the 905 nm wavelength
- 1/4 to 1 inch of penetration with their 660 nm wavelength
By using a high peak power of 50,000 mW from a coherent super-pulsed beam in bursts of a very short duration (only 200 nanoseconds), the Theralase® TLC-1000 gets better penetration without the risk of tissue heating. The brief pulses of light energy are delivered at a high frequency of around 10 kHz. This means that superficial tissues will not heat up due to very short burst time but the high power level means better depth of penetration.
High peak power + short duration + high frequency = Best therapeutic doses to deep injuries up to 4" in tissue.
The family of Theralase® products is very similar to TerraQuant product line with the exception that TerraQuant products offer 3 wavelengths versus the 2 for Theralase®. The build quality for both seems to be similar, being made of mostly custom injected molded plastics with membrane keypads on the emitters.
Because the Theralase® is a super pulsed laser, it is a Class II product so it can be purchased for home or professional office use. Their products are only sold only through their regional sales persons and not on line.
The Lumix lasers offer a combination of both superpulsing and continuous wave output in their series 3 lasers. This is a good balance for anyone who wants both options.