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Title:
LIGHT THERAPY VIA OPTICAL FIBERS IN TEXTILES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/076827
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A portable modular optical coupler includes a power supply, an external receiving surface with a light emitting diode, a bundle of light conductive fibers, and a detachable connector. The power supply powers the light emitting diode. The light emitting diode produces electromagnetic radiation that is transmitted to a portion of skin of a patient through fibers to treat a skin condition. The detachable connector optically connects the light emitting diode and the fibers when the detachable connector is received by the external receiving surface.

Inventors:
WAINWRIGHT HARRY (JP)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/055875
Publication Date:
April 22, 2021
Filing Date:
October 16, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
WAINWRIGHT HARRY LEE (JP)
International Classes:
A61N5/06; A61N5/00; G02B6/00
Foreign References:
US10269272B12019-04-23
US20080183251A12008-07-31
US5536267A1996-07-16
US5755753A1998-05-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOSEPH, Thomas, M. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for treating a predetermined skin condition comprising: an optical coupler portable module comprising a portable power supply therein and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode; a bundle of fibers having light conductive material; and a detachable connector receivable by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler; wherein the portable power supply powers the at least one light emitting diode; wherein the at least one light emitting diode produces electromagnetic radiation having at least one predetermined wavelength for projection through the bundle of fibers to treat the skin condition; and wherein the detachable connector optically connects the at least one light emitting diode and the bundle of fibers, so that the at least one light emitting diode can project the electromagnetic radiation through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to the portion of the skin of the patient.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the predetermined wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation is selected from the group consisting of about 660 nm, about 750 nm, about 850 nm, and about 415 nm.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a processor, a receiver; and an input device; wherein the input device sends data to the receiver though a wireless connection; wherein the receiver receives data relating to a lighting effect selected to treat the predetermined skin condition and transmits the data to the processor; and wherein the processor converts data relating to a treatment for a predetermined skin condition into instructions for the optical coupler portable module to produce electromagnetic radiation having at least one predetermined wavelength for projection through the bundle of fibers.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the processor has the ability to convert data into instructions that change the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation.

5. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the input device is selected from the group consisting of a smartphone and a microphone.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the smartphone sends data using short- wavelength UHF radio waves to the receiver.

7. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the input device sends data to processor to reprogram the optical coupler portable module.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the light conductive material are fiber optic fibers.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, further comprising a housing for holding the optical coupler, the bundle of fiber optic fibers, and the connector.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a portable power supply for powering the at least one light emitting diode.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein light emitting diode produces preselected graphic patterns that include at least one of grids, dense geometric patterns, and graphic images.

13. A method for treating a predetermined skin condition, wherein a portable modular optical coupler has a power supply therein and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode, wherein a bundle of fibers has light conductive material, and wherein a detachable connector connects the portable modular optical coupler to the bundle of fibers, the method comprising: powering the at least one light emitting diode with the portable power supply; activating the least one light emitting diode to produce electromagnetic radiation having a predetermined wavelength for transmission through the bundle of fibers to a portion of skin of a patient; and projecting electromagnetic radiation through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to the portion of the skin of the patient to treat the predetermined skin condition.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein the predetermined wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation is selected from the group consisting of about 660 nm, about 750 nm, about 850 nm, and about 415 nm.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein the portable modular optical coupler includes a processor for converting data into instructions that change the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation.

17. A kit for treating a predetermined skin condition, the kit comprising: an optical coupler portable module comprising a portable power supply therein and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode; a bundle of fibers having light conductive material; and a detachable connector receivable by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler; wherein the portable power supply can be configured to power the at least one light emitting diode; wherein the at least one light emitting diode produces electromagnetic radiation to treat a skin condition on a portion of skin of a patient; and wherein the detachable connector can optically connect to the at least one light emitting diode and the bundle of fibers, so that the at least one light emitting diode can project light through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to transmit electromagnetic radiation to the portion of the skin of the patient.

18. The kit of claim 17, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

19. The kit of claim 17, further comprising: a processor; a receiver; and an input device; wherein the input device can be configured to send data to the receiver though a wireless connection; and wherein the receiver can be configured to receive data relating to the wavelengths a and intensities of the electromagnetic radiation that is selected to treat the predetermined skin condition and can transmit the data to the processor; and wherein the processor can convert the data into instructions for the at least one light emitting diode.

20. The kit of claim 17, wherein the one light emitting diode is configured to emit electromagnetic radiation wavelengths selected from the group consisting of about 660 nm, about 750 nm, about 850 nm, and about 415 nm.

Description:
LIGHT THERAPY VIA OPTICAL FIBERS IN TEXTILES

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION [0001] This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of co-pending U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/973,669 entitled "LIGHT THERAPY VIA OPTICAL FIBERS IN TEXTILES" filed October 18, 2019, which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The subject disclosure is directed to systems, methods, and apparatus for providing light therapy using optical fibers and, more particularly, to a new use for optical coupler that involves providing therapeutic doses of electromagnetic radiation via optical fibers.

BACKGROUND ART

[0003] Light Emitting Diodes ("LEDs") have been used to illuminate areas of fabrics by themselves or through the use of fiber optics. However, such LEDs emit light outward from the fabrics from their exterior surfaces. Exemplary fiber optic devices are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,738,753, 5,881,206, and 6,151,439 to Wainwright.

[0004] Computer Numerical Control ("CNC") devices have the ability to insert fiber optics into fabrics along with other flexible surfaces. Many applications for fiber optic displays have been disclosed that include such fabrics, but these applications rely on visual attributes in banners, clothing, greeting cards, and novelty applications. In such applications, the fibers direct light outwardly for viewing.

[0005] Medical use of polymethyl methacrylate ("PMMA") is known, but such use is limited to inserting fibers into the veins and arteries to locate blockage and disorders. In some applications, the PMMA fibers can be used to expose tissues to blue or special frequencies of light energy to treat conditions within the body of a patient, as opposed to treating the external skin of a patient.

[0006] U.S. Patent No. 4,875,144 to Wainwright discloses a fabric illuminated by the outer ends of a large number of optical fibers that form an illuminated changing display of several figures. The fibers extend along the inner surface of the fabric and are gathered into several bundles each of which engages a connector housing having a light source. The light source is connected to a power source that energizes an electronic control device which causes, sequentially, each light source to be activated in a programmed manner.

[0007] U.S. Patent No. 4,709,307 to Branom discloses an article of clothing that includes a shell forming an outer layer, a liner disposed generally inside the shell and forming an inner layer of the clothing, and a set of LEDs forming a predetermined pattern on the exterior of the clothing. A power source is located within the clothing, for illuminating the LEDs as is a control circuit for controlling the activation of the LEDs. A cable electrically connects the LEDs and the power source and an overlay secured to the shell, has imprinted a pattern corresponding to the predetermined pattern of the LEDs.

[0008] It is also known that lighted displays can be controlled remotely. For example,

U.S. Patent No. 4,185,276 to Benson employs a spatial energy field including a sound and light generator and discriminator for providing electrical signals to a plurality of individual stations resulting in the formation of dynamic geometrical shapes, patterns and designs to display according to particular pitches and amplitudes in the music.

[0009] U.S. Patent No 5,461,188 to Drago discloses the use of synthesized music and sound to activate a light system incorporated into an article of clothing that includes shoes, jackets, arm bands and waist bands that light up patterns. This results in non-associative patterns lighting up by frequency triggers in the audio tracks.

[0010] U.S. Patent No. 5,128,843 to Guritz discloses an optical display device that is secured to active limbs of a body in motion. The body movement enhances an optical display that illuminates the wearer for ornamental or safety purposes. The device includes a plurality of lamps that are coupled to four flexible strip circuit boards. Each circuit board has a translucent shield placed over the length of the circuit board to cover the lamps for protection from moisture, impact and provide alternative colored illumination. These devices are placed on each upper arm of the user with a second circuit board positioned on each portion of a lower arm of a person. A control circuit is included for energizing the lamps.

[0011] The disclosed fiber optic and LED applications have a number of drawbacks that prevent such devices from being installed into machine washable, rugged apparel, bags, or other items that could be useful that can be subject to harsh, unpredictable high impacts and to underwater environments. Such devices puncture easily and can be rendered unusable. Further, such devices are prone to scratching and draw substantial power, which is unaccepted when such devices must be used for extended periods of time.

[0012] Liquid Crystal Display (“LCD”) screens that are commonly used to display data are difficult to see unless such devices are back-lighted. Such back-lighted devices, typically, require substantial additional currents. For example, U.S. Patent No. 4,540,242 to Ishibashi and U.S. Patent No. 7,145,536 to Yamazaki disclose devices that require a hard surface to protect them and are impractical for displaying digits over two inches in height. The light output cannot be passed through a washing machine, the electronic display elements are mounted in the display item.

[0013] Other conventional data digital display devices include mechanical mechanisms that prevent the use on garments or fabrics, such as U.S. Patent No. 3,836,911 to Gibson, which uses a spinning wheel matrix of numbers to display lighted numerals through fiber optics which would be impossible to add to apparel. Similarly, U.S. Patent No. 3,934,246 to Williams uses a series of rigid layers and UV filters. Additionally, U.S. Patent No. 3,934,246 uses solid supports for identifying alphanumeric characters on a typewriter keyboard or the fiber optic cables are used to transmit full images of a display remotely in a manner similar to U.S. Patent No. 5,585,871 to Linden or U.S. Patent No. 5,293,437 to Nixon, which discloses the transmission of full images from a distant display.

[0014] Conventional LED high-density displays are not practical to apply to apparel, pillows, or other such surfaces because such devices do not provide the ability to support the hardware necessary to drive those types of color output displays. In addition, such displays are expensive and require a great deal of energy to keep them active rendering battery assisted video panels or arrays that combined with multiple LEDs could become uncomfortable against the skin and are prone to heat up over time making them impractical for skin treatment application over a prolonged period of time.

[0015] Other LED devices cannot be applied to textiles, keep them flexible, and remain soft to the touch. For example, solid LEDs and Organic Light Emitting Diodes ("OLEDs") require a solid foundation, along with additional protection, to support the arrays from breakage. Even with such protection and/or support, such devices still remain prone to breakage when they are subjected to impacts from foreign objects, to drops, or to being stepped upon. Accordingly, there is a need for a display technology that is affordable, durable, can be powered over long periods of time, and are sufficiently flexible, so that it can be incorporated into textiles.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

[0016] In various implementations, an apparatus treats a predetermined skin condition.

An optical coupler portable module has a portable power supply therein and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode. A bundle of fibers has light conductive material. A detachable connector is receivable by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler. The portable power supply powers the at least one light emitting diode. The optical coupler portable module produces electromagnetic radiation having at least one predetermined wavelength for projection through the bundle of fibers to treat the skin condition with the at least one light emitting diode. The detachable connector optically connects the at least one light emitting diode and the bundle of fibers, so that the at least one light emitting diode can project the electromagnetic radiation through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to the portion of the skin of the patient.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0017] FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an optical coupler system that can be used to perform the skin treatment in accordance with the subject matter of this disclosure.

[0018] FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of an LED driver in accordance with the disclosed subject matter.

[0019] FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of an optical coupler assembly in accordance with the disclosed subject matter.

[0020] FIG. 4 illustrates a fragmentary side view of a Printed Circuit Board ("PCB") in accordance with the disclosed subject matter.

[0021] FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic diagram of a section of a fiber optic grid patch.

[0022] FIG. 6 illustrates a schematic diagram of a quadrant of the fiber optic grid patch shown in FIG. 1 that interfaces with the optical coupler system shown in FIG. 1.

[0023] FIG. 7 is an exemplary process in accordance with the disclosed subject matter.

MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION [0024] The subject disclosure is directed to systems, methods, and apparatus for inserting fiber optics into fabrics to direct light to treat skin conditions and relieve pain. More specifically, the instrumentality directs energy of various light frequencies into the surface of skin from the tips of optical fibers that are installed into textile surfaces to reduce inflammation, to treat skin conditions, and to alleviate pain. The instrumentality uses LEDs that emit specific frequencies/wavelengths that can treat skin conditions with radiation in the blue near UVB range (400-420 nm) and/or in the red near IR range (630-800 nm). The radiation is directed through flexible light pipes to the surface of human skin.

[0025] The detailed description provided below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of examples and is not intended to represent the only forms in which the present examples can be constructed or utilized. The description sets forth functions of the examples and sequences of steps for constructing and operating the examples. However, the same or equivalent functions and sequences can be accomplished by different examples.

[0026] References to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," "an example embodiment," "one implementation," "an implementation," "one example," "an example" and the like, indicate that the described embodiment, implementation or example can include a particular feature, structure or characteristic, but every embodiment, implementation or example can not necessarily include the particular feature, structure or characteristic. Moreover, such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment, implementation or example. Further, when a particular feature, structure or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, implementation or example, it is to be appreciated that such feature, structure or characteristic can be implemented in connection with other embodiments, implementations or examples whether or not explicitly described.

[0027] Numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of one or more embodiments of the described subject matter. It is to be appreciated, however, that such embodiments can be practiced without these specific details. [0028] Various features of the subject disclosure are now described in more detail with reference to the drawings, wherein like numerals generally refer to like or corresponding elements throughout. The drawings and detailed description are not intended to limit the claimed subject matter to the particular form described. Rather, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the claimed subject matter.

[0029] The disclosure is directed to an instrumentality for treating skin disorders through the use of specialized frequencies and intensities of light energy. The light energy is directed through optical fiber end points into the skin. The light is directed across fabric surface areas. The fibers can be attached to the internal surface of apparel or items. In some embodiments, optical fiber end points can be placed in close or direct contact to the light emitting surfaces. [0030] The disclosed instrumentality can use blue light and/or red light therapies to heal skin ailments or to treat chronic pain. Light energy can be directed in any therapeutic frequency to the problem areas via medical grade PMMA optical fibers, such as ESKA fibers. The user has the ability to choose the desired frequency of light to treat skin conditions. The frequencies can range from UVB frequencies to Infrared frequencies.

[0031] Additionally, intensities can be selected through the use of Pulse Width Modulation (“PWM”) to further enhance the ability to tailor treatments to specific skin conditions. A smart phone can adjust the therapeutic attributes of the output energy from the textile though software for light frequency, duration, intensity, PWM, and more.

[0032] The instrumentality can be used to perform LED light therapy. Through LED light therapy, LEDs release energy in the form of photons that can have different wavelengths that correspond to specific colors. Such treatments have been shown to heal wounds on human skin, including certain cancers and pre-cancers. Red light LED therapy has been shown to stimulate collagen production. Blue light LED therapy has been shown to kill Propionibacterium, an acne-causing bacteria.

[0033] LED light therapy has cosmetic applications, as well. For example, LED light therapy has been used as an aesthetic treatment for acne and to reduce signs of aging. Red light LED therapy has been used for anti-aging and inflammation reduction. Blue light therapy has been used for acne treatment. Infrared light can be used to tighten and to firm the skin.

[0034] Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, an exemplary system, generally designated by the numeral 100, is shown. The system 100 is similar to the optical coupler system that is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 10,269,272 Bl, entitled "Remote Controlled Optical Coupler with Charger, GPS, and Audio EO", issued April 23, 2019, which is incorporated herein by reference. The system 100 is particularly adapted for treating skin conditions and/or alleviating pain.

[0035] Unlike the system 100 that is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 10,269,272 Bl, the system 100 is configured to produce electromagnetic radiation at predetermined wavelengths for treating skin conditions and pain. In these exemplary embodiments, the predetermined wavelengths include about 660 nm, about 750 nm, about 850 nm, and about 415 nm, which can treat such issues. The system 100 can be incorporated into an arm wrap, leg wrap, cap, or other suitable therapeutic device to treat the skin conditions and/or pain issues.

[0036] The system 100 has the ability to switch frequencies and wavelengths to address a particular condition and to control the intensities of energy desired in a given area. The use of low intensities conserves power for the system 100, so that the system 100 can emit energy over a longer period of time. The use of high intensities drains power more quickly, but allows the system 100 to direct more energy to a specific skin area.

[0037] The system 100 includes a portable module 110 and a remote controller 112. The module 110 includes a housing or a case 114 containing an input device 116, an optical coupler 118 having a receiver 120, a processor 122, and an LED assembly 124 having an indicator 126 and a plurality of LEDs 128, a bundle 130 of light conductive material 132 and a detachable connector 134 connecting the optical coupler 118 to the bundle 130. In this exemplary embodiment, the controller 112 is a mobile computing devices and, more particularly, a smartphone. The light conductive material 132 can be fiber optic fibers, light transmitting rubber, plastics, or other light transmission media material. Such materials can include special rubber and solid plastics that transmit light through edges and perimeters. [0038] The case 114 can be a reinforced case that can be separable and/or removable from any apparel or item upon which the system 100 produces a display. In such embodiments, the bundle 130 of the light conductive material 132 can remain attached to the surface.

[0039] The receiver 120 can receive data from the input device 116 that relates to lighting effects having predetermined graphic patterns, such as grids, dense geometric patterns, and graphic images. The processor 122 can convert the data into instructions for the LEDs 128 to form the predetermined graphic patterns, in which the light varies in configuration, color, intensity, or other properties.

[0040] It should be understood that the controller 112, the input device 116, and the receiver 120 are optional components. In some embodiments, the processor 122 can instruct the LEDs 128 to produce electromagnetic radiation at a dedicated frequency.

[0041] The LEDs 128 produce electromagnetic radiation for transmission through the detachable transparent connector 134 to the bundle 130 so that the light conductive material 132 within the bundle 130 can produce the predetermined graphic patterns. The system 100 can implement and control the LEDs 128 to generate a display of an image or series of images.

[0042] The input device 116 can be a microphone, a temperature sensor, or other similar device. In some embodiments, the input device 116 can be incorporated into the controller 112. The controller 112 can send data relating to input received by the input device 116 to the receiver 120.

[0043] The connector 134 can be a clear connector. The connector 134 can contain one or more translucent plastic indicator forms such as a rod, but other designs are also contemplated. In such embodiments, the case 114 emits light from the LEDs 128 through the connector 134 to the light conductive material 132 and out of the exterior perimeter of a translucent plastic form.

[0044] The module 110 can receive Bluetooth data that determines the lighted effects from the LEDs 128. The LEDs 128 can be mounted within the case 114, so that the output from the LEDs 128 is aligned for transmission through the connector 134 to the light conductive material 132. The light conductive material 132, in the form of optical fibers, can be mounted and aligned to emit light to form graphic patterns that are preselected to treat predetermined skin conditions. In some embodiments, the optical coupler 118 has an ID address via Bluetooth protocol. The module 110 can produce output to form graphic images through the bundles 130. [0045] As shown in FIG. 1, the module 110 can include other components, such as an audio output device 136, a USB input 138, a USB output 140, an on/off switch 142, a GPS tracker 144, a power supply 146, a printed circuit board or PCB 148, vibration device, and a motion sensor 150. In this exemplary embodiment, the audio output device 136 is a speaker. The power supply 146 can be a rechargeable battery. The processor 122 can be mounted on the PCB 148.

[0046] The system 100 configure and implement the receiver 120 as a Bluetooth, Zigbee, or other type of receiver. The receiver 120 can send data to a D to A converter that can be implemented by the processor 122 to cause the LEDs 128 to light up.

[0047] The system 100 utilizes the light transmitting/receiving optical coupler 118, so that the optical coupler 118 passes light through the connector 134 to the light conductive material such as fiber optic bundles 130. The system 100 can utilize the controller 112 to control the activation of colors and intensities of the LEDs 124. The light can be passed through the connector 134, which can function as a coupler to channel light to surface areas where the opposing ends of the light conductive material 132 within the bundles 130 are attached.

[0048] The system 100 can utilize software routines downloaded to the controller 112 to send to the module 110. The routines can include RGB, IR, and/or UV LEDs. The system 100 can implement and utilize the receiver 120 to receive signals via wireless transmission from the controller 112 for decoding by the processor 122. The signals can be wireless signals, such as Bluetooth, Zigbee, or other suitable wireless signals.

[0049] The system can implement and utilize the GPS tracker 144 and one or more input devices 116 that respond to surrounding conditions such as temperature, time, sound, and location. The GPS tracker 144 can be displayed on the controller 112. Attachments designed to snap onto the system 100 can provide the ability to produce independent lighting effects. GPS tracking can enable the system 100 via software connection to the internet to recognize other couplers or similarly configured systems in the immediate vicinity and subsequently use that data to design the light output routine.

[0050] The system 100 can configure and implement the USB output 140 to charge batteries in digital devices. In some embodiments, the USB output 140 can be a charge strip or a USB port that can be used to charge mobile phones, digital tablets, audio players, and/or flashlights.

[0051] Referring now to FIGS. 2-4 with reference to the foregoing figure, another embodiment of an optical coupler system, generally designated, by the numeral 200, is shown. Like the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the system 200 is particularly adapted to treat skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis (i.e., rough, scaly, precancerous spots on the skin), blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non-melanoma skin cancer, rickettsia (i.e., a bacterial infection transmitted through the bites of lice, mites, fleas, and ticks), rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus (e.g., onychomycosis - a fungal infection of toe or finger nails), warts, and wrinkles. The skin conditions can include other conditions that require pain relief.

[0052] Acne can be treated visible blue light irradiation, which can trigger natural photosensitizer molecules, such as curcumin or Flavin derivatives. The treatment can produce reactive oxygen species ("ROS") that increase the oxidative stress at local zone in a sort time. Blue light therapy can change the composition of a skin surface, which inhibits the growth of acne. In some instances, blue light phototherapy can positively alleviate inflammatory acne lesions and/or non-inflammatory acne lesions to reduce the gene expression of nuclear factor- Kb (NF-kB) and inflammatory cytokines.

[0053] Candida can be treated by combining red light therapy with blue light therapy twice a day. Chemotherapy side effects can be treated by combining the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin with treatments with low power blue LED to decrease the negative side-effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. Jaundice can be treated by combining blue light therapy with Bifico, a probiotic mixture containing Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Enterococcus.

[0054] As shown in FIGS. 2-4, the system 200 includes an LED driver 210 that includes a housing 212 for holding LEDs 214. The system 200 also includes a controller PCB 216. In some embodiments, the PCB 216 can be discrete with a single program function. In other embodiments, the PCB 216 can be a Bluetooth receiver that responds to commands from a controller, such as the controller 112 shown in FIG. 1, and provides the ability to choose between color frequencies, intensities, and PWM values.

[0055] The PCB 216 can be mounted on a member 218 and can be configured to turn on the LEDs 214 to produce radiation at a predetermined wavelength, such as 415 nm, and/or frequency, such as 40 Hz. The LEDs 214 can direct light energy into fiber optic cables 220.

In this exemplary embodiment, the fiber optic cables 220 are PMMA cables.

[0056] The fiber optic cables 220 can be attached to the inside of a textile surface 222. The light from the fiber optical cables 220 can form a graphic grid or image 224 on the textile surface 222. In this exemplary embodiment, the textile surface 222 can be the surface of a pillow or interior portion of a shirt that emits energy into the skin surface.

[0057] It should be understood that the system 200 can simulate a gamma ray exposure using harmless light energy. Additionally, it has been observed that a 40Hz PWM frequency unexpectedly provides a therapeutic effect. The system 200 can provide a user with the ability to control via smart phones or dedicated control switches the type of therapeutic output desired from the textile surface 222.

[0058] Referring now to FIGS. 5-6 with reference to the foregoing figures, a fiber optic grid patch assembly, generally designated by the numeral 300, is shown. The fiber optic grid patch assembly 300 includes a grid patch 310, multiple bundles of fiber optic fibers, one of which is generally designated by the numeral 312, and a plurality of connectors, one of which is generally designated by the numeral 314. The bundle 312 can include fibers of 15 mil that are made from poly methyl methacrylate.

[0059] The grid patch 310 is divided into four quadrants 316-322. The quadrants 316-322 are fastened to one another with releasable male fastening strips 324 and releasable female fastening strips 326. In this exemplary embodiment, the male fastening strips 324 are male zip-lock strips. The female fastening strips 326 are female zip-lock strips. In other embodiments, the quadrants 316-322 can be connected to one another with snaps, hook-and- loop fasteners, or other releasable fastening systems.

[0060] Each of the quadrants 316-322 connects to a bundle of fibers, such as the bundle 312, with the fiber bundles connecting to a connector, such as connector 314, so that the connector 314 can interface with an optical coupler, such as optical coupler 118 shown in FIG. 1.

[0061] It should be understood that the grid patch 310 is expandable, so that more grid components (not shown) that are essentially identical to the quadrants 316-322 can be connected thereto. The expansion of the grid patch 310 can expand the capabilities of the system 100 shown in FIG. 1.

[0062] Referring now to FIG. 7 with continuing reference to the foregoing figures, an exemplary method, generally designated with the numeral 400, for treating a predetermined skin condition is shown. The method 400 can be performed a portable modular optical coupler, such as the system 100 shown in FIG. 1 and/or the system 200 shown in FIGS. 2-4. The system includes a power supply, a processor, and an external receiving surface.

[0063] At 401, a light emitting diode is powered with the portable power supply. In this exemplary embodiment, the light emitting diode can be the LEDs 128 shown in FIG. 1 and/or the LEDs 214 shown in FIGS. 2-4. The portable power supply can be the power supply 146 shown in FIG. 1.

[0064] At 402, the processor converts data into instructions for programming the at least one light emitting diode to produce electromagnetic radiation having a predetermined wavelength with the bundle of fibers on a portion of skin of a patient. In this exemplary embodiment, the fibers can be fibers within the fiber optic bundles 130 shown in FIG. 1. [0065] At 403, electromagnetic radiation is projected through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to transmit the electromagnetic radiation on the portion of the skin of the patient to treat the predetermined skin condition. In this exemplary embodiment, the detachable connector can be the detachable connector 134 shown in FIG. 1.

[0066] In some embodiments, a processor is not needed when using dedicated LEDs that emit the necessary wavelength/frequency for a particular skin condition. For example, a dedicated LED that produces electromagnetic radiation at 660 nm (i.e., deep red NIR radiation) frequency/wavelength can be used to treat eczema. Dedicated LEDS that produce electromagnetic radiation having a frequency/wavelength of 850 nm can be used to treat hair loss and/or peripheral neuropathy. Dedicated 415 nm LEDs can treat acne.

[0067] Supported Features and Embodiments

[0068] The detailed description provided above in connection with the appended drawings explicitly describes and supports various features of apparatus and methods for treating a skin condition. By way of illustration and not limitation, supported embodiments include an apparatus for treating a predetermined skin condition comprising: an optical coupler portable module comprising a portable power supply therein, a receiver, a processor, and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode; a bundle of fibers having light conductive material; a detachable connector receivable by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler; and an input device; wherein the portable power supply powers the at least one light emitting diode; wherein the input device sends data to the receiver though a wireless connection; wherein the receiver receives data relating to a lighting effect selected to treat the predetermined skin condition; wherein the processor converts the data into instructions for the at least one light emitting diode to program the optical coupler portable module to form preselected graphics patterns on a portion of skin of a patient with the bundle of fibers; and wherein the detachable connector optically connects the at least one light emitting diode and the bundle of fibers having light conductive material when the detachable connector is received by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler, so that the at least one light emitting diode can project light through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to form the preselected graphics patterns on the portion of the skin of the patient.

[0069] Supported embodiments include the foregoing apparatus, wherein the external receiving surface comprises a plurality of recesses, each recess having a light emitting diode mounted therein, wherein the detachable connected is receivable within the plurality of recesses.

[0070] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the input device is selected from the group consisting of a smartphone and a microphone.

[0071] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the smartphone sends data using short-wavelength UHF radio waves to the receiver.

[0072] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the input device sends data to processor to reprogram the optical coupler portable module.

[0073] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the light conductive material are fiber optic fibers.

[0074] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, further comprising a housing for holding the optical coupler, the bundle of fiber optic fibers, and the connector.

[0075] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, further comprising a portable power supply for powering the at least one light emitting diode.

[0076] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non-melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

[0077] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the preselected graphic patterns include at least one of grids, dense geometric patterns, and graphic images.

[0078] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the portable power supply is a rechargeable battery.

[0079] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the one light emitting diode emits light within a preselected range of frequencies.

[0080] Supported embodiments include a kit, a method, a system, and/or means for implementing any of the foregoing apparatuses or a portion thereof. [0081] Supported embodiments include a method for treating a predetermined skin condition, wherein a portable modular optical coupler has a power supply therein, a receiver, a processor, and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode, wherein a bundle of fibers has light conductive material, wherein a detachable connector connects the portable modular optical coupler to the bundle of fibers, and wherein an input device connects to the receiver through a wireless connection, the method comprising: powering the at least one light emitting diode with the portable power supply; sending data relating to a lighting effect to the receiver though a wireless connection; converting the data into instructions for programming the at least one light emitting diode to form preselected graphics patterns with the bundle of fibers on a portion of skin of a patient; and projecting light through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to form the preselected graphics patterns on the portion of the skin of the patient to treat the predetermined skin condition.

[0082] Supported embodiments include the foregoing method, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non-melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

[0083] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing methods, wherein the preselected graphic patterns include at least one of grids, dense geometric patterns, and graphic images.

[0084] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing methods, wherein the one light emitting diode emits light within a preselected range of frequencies.

[0085] Supported embodiments include a system, a kit, an apparatus, and/or means for implementing any of the foregoing methods or a portion thereof.

[0086] Supported embodiments include a kit for treating a predetermined skin condition, the kit comprising: an optical coupler portable module comprising a portable power supply therein, a receiver, a processor, and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode; a bundle of fibers having light conductive material; a detachable connector receivable by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler; and an input device; wherein the portable power supply can be configured to power the at least one light emitting diode; wherein the input device can be configured to send data to the receiver though a wireless connection; wherein the receiver can be configured to receive data relating to a lighting effect selected to treat the predetermined skin condition; wherein the processor can be configured to convert the data into instructions for the at least one light emitting diode to program the optical coupler portable module to form preselected graphics patterns on a portion of skin of a patient with the bundle of fibers; and wherein the detachable connector can optically connect to the at least one light emitting diode and the bundle of fibers having light conductive material when the detachable connector is received by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler, so that the at least one light emitting diode can project light through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to form the preselected graphics patterns on the portion of the skin of the patient.

[0087] Supported embodiments include the foregoing kit, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non-melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree bums, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

[0088] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing kits, wherein the preselected graphic patterns include at least one of grids, dense geometric patterns, and graphic images. [0089] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing kits, wherein the one light emitting diode emits light within a preselected range of frequencies.

[0090] Supported embodiments include a system, a method, an apparatus, and/or means for implementing any of the foregoing kits or a portion thereof.

[0091] Supported embodiments include an apparatus for treating a predetermined skin condition comprising: an optical coupler portable module comprising a portable power supply therein, a processor, and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode; a bundle of fibers having light conductive material; and a detachable connector receivable by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler; wherein the portable power supply powers the at least one light emitting diode; wherein the processor converts data relating to a lighting effect selected to treat the predetermined skin condition into instructions for the at least one light emitting diode to program the optical coupler portable module to produce electromagnetic radiation having at least one predetermined wavelength on a portion of skin of a patient with the bundle of fibers; and wherein the detachable connector optically connects the at least one light emitting diode and the bundle of fibers having light conductive material when the detachable connector is received by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler, so that the at least one light emitting diode can project the electromagnetic radiation through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to transmit the electromagnetic radiation to the portion of the skin of the patient.

[0092] Supported embodiments include the foregoing apparatus, wherein the predetermined wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation is selected from the group consisting of about 660 nm, about 750 nm, about 850 nm, and about 415 nm.

[0093] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the processor has the ability to convert data into instructions that change the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation.

[0094] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, further comprising: a receiver; and an input device; wherein the input device sends data to the receiver though a wireless connection; wherein the receiver receives data relating to a lighting effect selected to treat the predetermined skin condition and transmits the data to the processor.

[0095] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the input device is selected from the group consisting of a smartphone and a microphone.

[0096] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the smartphone sends data using short-wavelength UHF radio waves to the receiver.

[0097] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the input device sends data to processor to reprogram the optical coupler portable module.

[0098] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the light conductive material are fiber optic fibers.

[0099] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, further comprising a housing for holding the optical coupler, the bundle of fiber optic fibers, and the connector.

[00100] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, further comprising a portable power supply for powering the at least one light emitting diode.

[00101] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non-melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

[00102] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, wherein light emitting Supported embodiments include a kit, a method, a system, and/or means for implementing any of the foregoing apparatuses or a portion thereof. [00103] Supported embodiments include a method for treating a predetermined skin condition, wherein a portable modular optical coupler has a power supply therein, a processor, and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode, wherein a bundle of fibers has light conductive material, and wherein a detachable connector connects the portable modular optical coupler to the bundle of fibers, the method comprising: powering the at least one light emitting diode with the portable power supply; converting, through the processor, data into instructions for programming the at least one light emitting diode to produce electromagnetic radiation having a predetermined wavelength with the bundle of fibers on a portion of skin of a patient; and projecting light through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to transmit the electromagnetic radiation on the portion of the skin of the patient to treat the predetermined skin condition.

[00104] Supported embodiments include the foregoing method, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non-melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree burns, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

[00105] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing methods, wherein the predetermined wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation is selected from the group consisting of about 660 nm, about 750 nm, about 850 nm, and about 415 nm.

[00106] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing apparatuses, further comprising: converting data into instructions that change the intensity of the electromagnetic radiation.

[00107] Supported embodiments include a system, a kit, an apparatus, and/or means for implementing any of the foregoing methods or a portion thereof.

[00108] Supported embodiments include a kit for treating a predetermined skin condition, the kit comprising: an optical coupler portable module comprising a portable power supply therein, a processor, and an external receiving surface, the external receiving surface holding at least one light emitting diode; a bundle of fibers having light conductive material; and a detachable connector receivable by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler; wherein the portable power supply can be configured to power the at least one light emitting diode; wherein the processor can be configured to convert the data into instructions for the at least one light emitting diode to program the optical coupler portable module to produce electromagnetic radiation to treat a skin condition on a portion of skin of a patient with the bundle of fibers; and wherein the detachable connector can optically connect to the at least one light emitting diode and the bundle of fibers having light conductive material when the detachable connector is received by the external receiving surface of the optical coupler, so that the at least one light emitting diode can project light through the detachable connector and the bundle of fibers to produce electromagnetic radiation on the portion of the skin of the patient.

[00109] Supported embodiments include the foregoing kit, wherein the predetermined skin condition is selected from the group consisting of acne, psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, actinic keratosis, blotchy skin pigmentation, Candida, chemotherapy side effects, enlarged sebaceous glands, jaundice, non-melanoma skin cancer, rosacea, sun damage, third degree bums, toenail fungus, warts, and wrinkles.

[00110] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing kits, further comprising: a receiver; and an input device; wherein the input device can be configured to send data to the receiver though a wireless connection; and wherein the receiver can be configured to receive data relating to the wavelengths a and intensities of the electromagnetic radiation that is selected to treat the predetermined skin condition and can transmit the data to the processor. [00111] Supported embodiments include any of the foregoing kits, wherein the one light emitting diode is configured to emit electromagnetic radiation wavelengths selected from the group consisting of about 660 nm, about 750 nm, about 850 nm, and about 415 nm.

[00112] Supported embodiments include a system, a method, an apparatus, and/or means for implementing any of the foregoing kits or a portion thereof.

[00113] Supported embodiments can provide various attendant and/or technical advantages in terms of an apparatus, method, and kit that emits light towards the skin surface using fiber optics.

[00114] Supported embodiments include an apparatus, method, and kit that exposes the exterior of skin for therapeutic or medical benefits.

[00115] Supported embodiments include an apparatus, method, and kit that uses fiber optic fibers that are inserted in fabrics that include tips that emit light into skin to treat skin issues and relieve pain

[00116] Supported embodiments include a machine washable system that directs light energy towards the skin using a mounted LED/Optic display in fabric directed towards skin in textiles using water-tight enclosures to house the electronics.

[00117] Supported embodiments include an apparatus, method, and kit that can separate light sources from a surface that uses fiber optic cables to define various size graphics, grids, and densities necessary to emit 1-2 joules of energy per square centimeter from textiles over a twenty-four hour period.

[00118] Supported embodiments include an apparatus, method, and kit that utilizes LED high-density displays that are practical when applied to apparel, pillows, or other such surfaces and that support the hardware necessary for driving predetermined color output displays. Such embodiments are inexpensive and do not require a substantial amount of energy to remain active. Moreover, such embodiments do not become uncomfortable against the skin and are not prone to heat up over time, which can make conventional systems impractical when used in close proximity to skin for prolonged periods of time.

[00119] Supported embodiments include an apparatus, method, and kit that can be applied to surfaces such as pillows, shirts, blankets, bed mattress covers, sheets, robes, turtlenecks, armbands, and other wearable surfaces that do not inhibit the movement of person and, especially, the hands of a person, so that the person remains free to do other things during the treatment period.

[00120] Supported embodiments include an apparatus, method, and kit that deploy LED technology in textiles that are kept flexible and/or soft to the touch. Such devices remain comfortable when placed against skin for medical benefits. Such devices allow patients to go about their normal daily activates while at the same time treating skin chronic skin conditions while they sleep or enjoy recreational activities.

[00121] Supported embodiments include a durable system that is light weight, flexible, display that is impervious to machine washings, high velocity impacts, scratch resistant, works underwater, requiring minimal current that can be worn freeing both hands to hold probes, weapons, tools, or other objects without need of a platform to support a meter, CRT, or other data display device and has the ability to emit energy in the visible and invisible infrared and IR frequency ranges that can be worn inside a sleeve or body of shirt freeing the hands of holding a device with mounted blue or red diodes.

[00122] Supported embodiments include a system that can be used to treat skin conditions on legs and other parts of the body using embedded fiber optics with the LED control driver installed far away from the actual areas to be exposed with light. Such embodiments include a system that provides a high level of non-invasive, uncomfortable, or dangerous methods as found using some drugs and invasive operations to cure skin ailments.

[00123] Supported embodiments include a system that utilizes flexible synthetic materials, such as fabrics, plush surfaces, rubber, silicon coatings, netting, or other flexible soft textiles are easy surfaces for installing the tips of PMMA optical fibers without any visible or tactile attributes. Such systems can be concealed from non-patients in the immediate vicinity of the system. The systems can be incorporated into apparel or other products that cover the body (e.g., a pillow for sleeping or apparel that is worn).

[00124] Supported embodiments include a smart fabric that includes large areas of fabric surfaces for children to lay upon for therapeutic or medically beneficial purposes. The smart fabrics can be incorporated into furniture that slowly morphs colors to sooth autistic or special needs children. The smart fabric can provide surfaces that emit red/blue light therapy for medical benefits. The systems can be user-controlled through the use of switches or smart phones.

[00125] Supported embodiments include systems that utilize radiation that is directed through flexible light pipes such as ESKA PMMA medical grade optical fibers. Such embodiments include a system that provides a secure and redundant method of therapy by using multiple transmission points throughout the fabric composition of a pillow or of apparel worn by a user.

[00126] Supported embodiments include fiber optic placements that can be implanted into substrates in specific areas and in any size or density. Such devices can use LEDs to emit energy from the opposing ends only into problem areas of the body without wasting energy on areas that do not need healing.

[00127] The detailed description provided above in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of examples and is not intended to represent the only forms in which the present examples can be constructed or utilized.

[00128] It is to be understood that the configurations and/or approaches described herein are exemplary in nature, and that the described embodiments, implementations and/or examples are not to be considered in a limiting sense, because numerous variations are possible.

[00129] The specific processes or methods described herein can represent one or more of any number of processing strategies. As such, various operations illustrated and/or described can be performed in the sequence illustrated and/or described, in other sequences, in parallel, or omitted. Likewise, the order of the above-described processes can be changed.

[00130] Although the subject matter has been described in language specific to structural features and/or methodological acts, it is to be understood that the subject matter defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or acts described above. Rather, the specific features and acts described above are presented as example forms of implementing the claims.