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Proceedings Paper

Ultrafast time-resolved imaging of stress transient and cavitation from short-pulsed laser irradiated melanin particles
Author(s): Charles P. Lin; Michael W. Kelly
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Paper Abstract

Melanins are naturally occurring pigment particles which strongly absorb visible and near infrared radiation in many pigmented tissues including the eye and the skin. When irradiated by short laser pulses, stress transients and cavitation can be generated from these micrometer-sized particles. The photoacoustic effect is a potential mechanism for short pulse laser injury to the retina. We report here direct observations of the stress wave and cavitation from irradiated melanin particles using the technique of fast time-resolved imaging. Melanin granules were isolated from fresh bovine retina suspended in gels, and irradiated with 100 psec laser pulses at 1.064 micrometers . Stress transients were imaged under a microscope using a delayed visible strobe pulse. With incident laser fluences of about 1 J/cm2 (near the threshold fluence for retinal injury), a spherical pressure wavefront and a cavitation bubble were observed around each irradiated melanin particle. By measuring the radius of the wavefront as a function of strobe delay time the propagation velocity of the stress wave was determined. We observed in initial supersonic shock front which rapidly decays to an acoustic wave within a few nanoseconds. Because the melanin granules are densely packed inside the 10 micrometers diameter RPE cells, the shock range of a few microns is potentially sufficient for creating injury in the retina.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 1995
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2391, Laser-Tissue Interaction VI, (22 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.209895
Show Author Affiliations
Charles P. Lin, Wellman Labs. of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School (United States)
Michael W. Kelly, Wellman Labs. of Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2391:
Laser-Tissue Interaction VI
Steven L. Jacques, Editor(s)

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