Circadian Responses to Light-Flash Exposure: Conceptualization and Data Guiding Future Directions

Case ID:

Though perhaps not often thought of first, the circadian system in the human body is essential to important daily and cyclical bodily functions including: hormone release, temperature control, eating habits, mood, sleep, etc. Those circadian responses in the human body are primarily triggered by light exposure. There is a body of research surrounding mammalian exposure to light pulses and the effects of those light pulses on the circadian rhythm.

This technology is an addition to the body of research and shows the utility of intermittent light administration on the order of nanoseconds and microseconds rather than minutes or hours. The idea is to positively affect the circadian rhythm of an individual without consistent medication or extreme life changes. There are many diseases and mental health issues that can be affected by the shifting of the circadian rhythm and this technology is the first step in showing this can be an effective combatant of various disease states.

The circadian system influences the date and time perceptions of the human body and, with that information, the human body responds accordingly. Understanding and influencing the circadian timing allows for simple things like improving moods to changing the health and well-being of an individual suffering from chronic ailments. Traditionally, circadian timing has been influenced with elongated exposure to bright synthetic light to perhaps shift the circadian system.

While it has been established that elongated light stimulation can, and does, shift circadian timing, that elongated timeline is not efficient nor is it practical for many individuals wishing to influence their circadian system in hopes of positive effects. However, with the hopes that much faster exposures to light would allow the subject to feel the benefits of shifting their circadian timing, the very real possibility of affecting that shift with light begins to take shape. This technology and study seeks to do just that. Practically influence the human circadian system with only light and with light exposure on the scale of microseconds and nanoseconds rather than hours.  


  • Therapeutic


  • Non-medication
  • Faster than previously thought possible
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Mitch Graffeo
Sr. Licensing Manager - COM-T
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Fabian Fernandez
Jamie Zeitzer
Horace Heller