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Proceedings Paper

Medical free-electron laser: fact or fiction?
Author(s): James P. Bell; Donald R. Ponikvar
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Paper Abstract

The free electron laser (FEL) has long been proposed as a flexible tool for a variety of medical applications, and yet the FEL has not seen widespread acceptance in the medical community. The issues have been the laser's size, cost, and complexity. Unfortunately, research on applications of FELs has outpaced the device development efforts. This paper describes the characteristics of the FEL, as they have been demonstrated in the U.S. Army's FEL technology development program, and identifies specific medical applications where demonstrated performance levels would suffice. This includes new photodynamic therapies for cancer and HIV treatment, orthopedic applications, tissue welding applications, and multiwavelength surgical techniques. A new tunable kilowatt class FEL device is described, which utilizes existing hardware from the U.S. Army program. An assessment of the future potential, based on realistic technology scaling is provided.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 1994
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2131, Biomedical Fiber Optic Instrumentation, (28 July 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.180721
Show Author Affiliations
James P. Bell, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Donald R. Ponikvar, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2131:
Biomedical Fiber Optic Instrumentation
James A. Harrington; David M. Harris; Abraham Katzir; Fred P. Milanovich, Editor(s)

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