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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Temperature-controlled optical stimulation of the rat prostate cavernous nerves
Author(s): Serhat Tozburun; Thomas C. Hutchens; Michael A. McClain; Gwen A. Lagoda; Arthur L. Burnett; Nathaniel M. Fried

Paper Abstract

Optical nerve stimulation (ONS) may be useful as a diagnostic tool for intraoperative identification and preservation of the prostate cavernous nerves (CN), responsible for erectile function, during prostate cancer surgery. Successful ONS requires elevating the nerve temperature to within a narrow range (∼42 to 47°C) for nerve activation without thermal damage to the nerve. This preliminary study explores a prototype temperature-controlled optical nerve stimulation (TC-ONS) system for maintaining a constant (±1°C ) nerve temperature during short-term ONS of the rat prostate CNs. A 150-mW, 1455-nm diode laser was operated in continuous-wave mode, with and without temperature control, during stimulation of the rat CNs for 15 to 30 s through a fiber optic probe with a 1-mm-diameter spot. A microcontroller opened and closed an in-line mechanical shutter in response to an infrared sensor, with a predetermined temperature set point. With TC-ONS, higher laser power settings were used to rapidly and safely elevate the CNs to a temperature necessary for a fast intracavernous pressure response, while also preventing excessive temperatures that would otherwise cause thermal damage to the nerve. With further development, TC-ONS may provide a rapid, stable, and safe method for intraoperative identification and preservation of the prostate CNs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2013
PDF: 6 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 18(6) 067001 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.6.067001
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 18, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Serhat Tozburun, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Thomas C. Hutchens, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Michael A. McClain, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Gwen A. Lagoda, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Arthur L. Burnett, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Nathaniel M. Fried, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)


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