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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Optical clearing of vaginal tissues, ex vivo, for minimally invasive laser treatment of female stress urinary incontinence
Author(s): Chun-Hung Chang; Erinn M. Myers; Michael J. Kennelly; Nathaniel M. Fried
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Paper Abstract

Near-infrared laser energy in conjunction with applied tissue cooling is being investigated for thermal remodeling of the endopelvic fascia during minimally invasive treatment of female stress urinary incontinence. Previous computer simulations of light transport, heat transfer, and tissue thermal damage have shown that a transvaginal approach is more feasible than a transurethral approach. However, results were suboptimal, and some undesirable thermal insult to the vaginal wall was still predicted. This study uses experiments and computer simulations to explore whether application of an optical clearing agent (OCA) can further improve optical penetration depth and completely preserve the vaginal wall during subsurface treatment of the endopelvic fascia. Several different mixtures of OCA’s were tested, and 100% glycerol was found to be the optimal agent. Optical transmission studies, optical coherence tomography, reflection spectroscopy, and computer simulations [including Monte Carlo (MC) light transport, heat transfer, and Arrhenius integral model of thermal damage] using glycerol were performed. The OCA produced a 61% increase in optical transmission through porcine vaginal wall at 37°C after 30 min. The MC model showed improved energy deposition in endopelvic fascia using glycerol. Without OCA, 62%, 37%, and 1% of energy was deposited in vaginal wall, endopelvic fascia, and urethral wall, respectively, compared with 50%, 49%, and 1% using OCA. Use of OCA also resulted in 0.5-mm increase in treatment depth, allowing potential thermal tissue remodeling at a depth of 3 mm with complete preservation of the vaginal wall.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 January 2017
PDF: 9 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 22(1) 018002 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.22.1.018002
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 22, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Chun-Hung Chang, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Erinn M. Myers, Carolinas Medical Ctr. (United States)
Michael J. Kennelly, Carolinas Medical Ctr. (United States)
Nathaniel M. Fried, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Carolinas Medical Ctr. (United States)

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