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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Experimental and model analysis on the temperature dynamics during diode laser welding of the cornea
Author(s): Francesca Rossi; Roberto Pini; Luca Menabuoni
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Paper Abstract

Corneal laser welding is a technique used clinically to induce the immediate sealing of corneal wounds. We present an experimental and model analysis of the temperature dynamics during diode laser-induced corneal welding, which is aimed at characterizing the mechanism of tissue fusion. Ex vivo tests were performed on porcine eyes in the typical irradiation conditions used for laser-induced suturing in cornea transplant. Three laser power densities (12.5 W/cm2, 16.7 W/cm2, 20.8 W/cm2) were tested. The superficial temperature of the cornea was measured by means of an infrared thermocamera. Experimental data were compared with the results of a three-dimensional (3D) model of a laser-welding process in the cornea, solved by the use of the Finite Element Method (FEM). The model solution and experimental results showed good agreement. The model was thus used to estimate the temperature enhancement inside the corneal wound and to calculate the thermal damage inside the tissue. The results indicated a selective, spatially confined heating effect that occurred at operative temperatures (59 to 66°C) close to intermediate denaturation points of the stromal collagen, before its complete disorganization. No significant heat damage to the region of the laser-treated wound was evidenced in the operative irradiation conditions of corneal welding.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 2007
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 12(1) 014031 doi: 10.1117/1.2437156
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 12, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Francesca Rossi, Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara (Italy)
Roberto Pini, Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara (Italy)
Luca Menabuoni

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