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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Optical detection of intracellular cavitation during selective laser targeting of the retinal pigment epithelium: dependence of cell death mechanism on pulse duration
Author(s): Ho Lee; Clemens Alt; Costas M. Pitsillides; Charles P. Lin
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Paper Abstract

Selective laser targeting of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is an attractive method for treating RPE-associated disorders. We are developing a method for optically detecting intracellular microcavitation that can potentially serve as an immediate feedback of the treatment outcome. Thermal denaturation or intracellular cavitation can kill RPE cells during selective targeting. We examined the cell damage mechanism for laser pulse durations from 1 to 40 μs ex vivo. Intracellular cavitation was detected as a transient increase in the backscattered treatment beam. Cavitation and cell death were correlated for individual cells after single-pulse irradiation. The threshold radiant exposures for cell death (ED50,d) and cavitation (ED50,c) increased with pulse duration and were approximately equal for pulses of up to 10 μs. For 20 μs, the ED50,d was about 10% lower than the ED50,c; the difference increased with 40-μs pulses. Cells were killed predominantly by cavitation (up to 10-μs pulses); probability of thermally induced cell death without cavitation gradually increases with pulse duration. Threshold measurements are discussed by modeling the temperature distribution around laser-heated melanosomes and the scattering function from the resulting cavitation. Detection of intracellular cavitation is a highly sensitive method that can potentially provide real-time assessment of RPE damage during selective laser targeting.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2007
PDF: 14 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 12(6) 064034 doi: 10.1117/1.2804078
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 12, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Ho Lee, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Clemens Alt, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Costas M. Pitsillides, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Charles P. Lin, Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)


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