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Proceedings Paper

Laser flash photography of cold cavitation-driven ablation in tissues
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Paper Abstract

Plasma mediated ablation of collagen gels and porcine cornea was studied at various laser pulse durations in the range from 350 fs to 1 ns at 1053 nm wavelength. A time resolved stress detection technique was employed to measure transient stress profiles and amplitudes. Optical microscopy was used to characterize ablation craters qualitatively, while a wide band acoustic transducer helped to quantify tissue mechanical response and the ablation threshold. The ablation threshold was measured as a function of laser pulse duration and linear absorption coefficient. For nanosecond pulses the ablation threshold was found to have a strong dependence on the linear absorption coefficient of the material. As the pulse length decreased into the subpicosecond regime the ablation threshold became insensitive to the linear absorption coefficient. The ablation efficiency was found to be insensitive to both the laser pulse duration and the linear absorption coefficient. High quality ablation craters with no thermal or mechanical damage to surrounding material were obtained with 350 fs laser pulses. The mechanism of optical breakdown at the tissue surface was theoretically investigated. In the nanosecond regime, optical breakdown proceeds as an electron collisional avalanche ionization initiated by thermal seed electrons. These seed electrons are created by heating of the tissue by linear absorption. In the ultrashort pulse range, optical breakdown is initiated by the multiphoton ionization of the irradiated medium (6 photons in case of tissue irradiated at 1053 nm wavelength), and becomes less sensitive to the linear absorption coefficient. The energy deposition profile is insensitive to both the laser pulse duration and the linear absorption coefficient.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 1995
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2391, Laser-Tissue Interaction VI, (22 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.209896
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander A. Oraevsky, Rice Univ. (United States)
Rinat O. Esenaliev, Rice Univ. (United States)
Steven L. Jacques, Univ. of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Ctr. (United States)
Frank K. Tittel, Rice Univ. (United States)


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

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