Blue Light to Replace the Little Blue Pill?

Blue Light to Replace the Little Blue Pill?

By William Montgomery

Smooth jazz, scented candles and now blue light may be the new key to achieving an erection. Researchers at the Swiss university, ETH Zurich, have found that mice subjected to gene therapy could achieve an erection and, in some instances, a climax upon exposing their undersides to blue light.

The gene therapy was administered via direct injection of artificial DNA into the erectile tissue of the mice. Upon exposure of the treated area with blue light, the artificial gene works to lower calcium levels resulting in muscle relaxation and increased blood flow to the erectile tissue. Current erectile dysfunction drugs, on the other hand, work by inhibiting the natural enzyme that causes the erection to dissipate. This approach would decouple penile erection from external stimuli and allow for an erection on demand.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 men in the world suffer from erectile dysfunction. The global erectile dysfunction drugs market is estimated to value between 3-4 billion dollars a year. Currently, such drugs only reinforce and prolong an erection; they cannot outright trigger an erection. In addition, individuals with certain heart conditions are advised not to take the currently available medications.

Lead researcher, Professor Martin Fussenegger, believes that this treatment can be expanded to humans because the biological processes of how erections occur are very similar. Other forms of gene therapy are being investigated for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, but none of those therapies allow for a trigger-inducible erection on demand.


Photo courtesy of

Never miss an insight

Get insights delivered right to your inbox

More of Our Insights & Work
Popup Builder Mailchimp extension requires authentication.