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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Characterization of novel microsphere chain fiber optic tips for potential use in ophthalmic laser surgery
Author(s): Thomas C. Hutchens; Arash Darafsheh; Vasily N. Astratov; Nathaniel M. Fried; Amir Fardad; Andrew N. Antoszyk; Howard S. Ying

Paper Abstract

Ophthalmic surgery may benefit from use of more precise fiber delivery systems during laser surgery. Some current ophthalmic surgical techniques rely on tedious mechanical dissection of tissue layers. In this study, chains of sapphire microspheres integrated into a hollow waveguide distal tip are used for erbium:YAG laser ablation studies in contact mode with ophthalmic tissues, ex vivo. The laser's short optical penetration depth combined with the small spot diameters achieved with this fiber probe may provide more precise tissue removal. One-, three-, and five-microsphere chain structures were characterized, resulting in FWHM diameters of 67, 32, and 30 μm in air, respectively, with beam profiles comparable to simulations. Single Er:YAG pulses of 0.1 mJ and 75μs duration produced ablation craters with average diameters of 44, 30, and 17 μm and depths of 26, 10, and 8 μm, for one-, three-, and five-sphere structures, respectively. Microsphere chains produced spatial filtering of the multimode Er:YAG laser beam and fiber, providing spot diameters not otherwise available with conventional fiber systems. Because of the extremely shallow treatment depth, compact focused beam, and contact mode operation, this probe may have potential for use in dissecting epiretinal membranes and other ophthalmic tissues without damaging adjacent retinal tissue.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 June 2012
PDF: 8 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 17(6) 068004 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.6.068004
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 17, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas C. Hutchens, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Arash Darafsheh, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Vasily N. Astratov, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Nathaniel M. Fried, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Amir Fardad, PhotonTech LLC (United States)
Andrew N. Antoszyk, Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates (United States)
Howard S. Ying, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)

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