John K. Crane, MD, PhD, Keely Boyle, MD, and Swati Bhargava, MD.

Keely Boyle, MD, center, is principal investigator on a study that received an Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation grant. Among the co-investigators are John K. Crane, MD, PhD, left, and Swati Bhargava, MD.

Orthopaedic Surgery Resident Awarded Research Grant

Published February 14, 2019

story by dirk hoffman

A trainee in the orthopaedic residency program is principal investigator on a study that has received a 2019 Resident Research Grant from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation.


Using Blue Light Therapy on Shoulder Infections

Keely Boyle, MD, a fifth-year trainee and chief resident, is leading the study titled “Blue Light Reduces Propionibacterium acnes (Cutibacterium acnes) Bacterial Burden in Clinically Relevant Shoulder Isolates.”

The study’s objective is to determine the effect of the blue light therapy, with and without photosensitizers, on clinically relevant orthopedic shoulder isolates of C. acnes.

The research team’s hypothesis is that blue light therapy will significantly decrease the bacterial burden of C. acnes strains isolated from relevant orthopaedic shoulder infections in an in vitro model.

Medical Student, Fellow and Faculty Involved

Specific aims of the one–year study are to:

  • determine the optimal time duration of direct blue light exposure to C. acnes to achieve no detectable growth of the bacterium
  • determine the optimal distance of blue light exposure from the C. acnes strains to achieve no detectable growth of the bacterium over varying durations
  • determine the effect of photosensitizers in combination with blue light on C. acnes growth
  • identify photosensitizers that are effective in combination with blue light and nontoxic to host cells to produce no growth of C. acnes

Co-investigators from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are: