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Proceedings Paper

Ultraprecise medical applications with ultrafast lasers: corneal surgery with femtosecond lasers
Author(s): Frieder H. Loesel; Ron M. Kurtz; Christopher Horvath; Samir I. Sayegh; Gerard A. Mourou; Josef F. Bille; Tibor Juhasz
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Paper Abstract

We investigated refractive corneal surgery in vivo and in vitro by intrastromal photodisruption using a compact ultrafast femtosecond laser system. Ultrashort-pulsed lasers operating in the femtosecond time regime are associated with significantly smaller and deterministic threshold energies for photodisruption, as well as reduced shock waves and smaller cavitation bubbles than the nanosecond or picosecond lasers. Our reliable all-solid-state laser system was specifically designed for real world medical applications. By scanning the 5 micron focus spot of the laser below the corneal surface, the overlapping small ablation volumes of single pulses resulted in contiguous tissue cutting and vaporization. Pulse energies were typically in the order of a few microjoules. Combination of different scanning patterns enabled us to perform corneal flap cutting, femtosecond-LASIK, and femtosecond intrastromal keratectomy in porcine, rabbit, and primate eyes. The cuts proved to be highly precise and possessed superior dissection and surface quality. Preliminary studies show consistent refractive changes in the in vivo studies. We conclude that the technology is capable to perform a variety of corneal refractive procedures at high precision, offering advantages over current mechanical and laser devices and enabling entirely new approaches for refractive surgery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 February 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3564, Medical Applications of Lasers in Dermatology, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, and Dentistry II, (4 February 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.339141
Show Author Affiliations
Frieder H. Loesel, Univ. of Heidelberg and Univ. of Michigan (Germany)
Ron M. Kurtz, W. K. Kellogg Eye Center/Univ.of Michigan and Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Christopher Horvath, Univ. of Heidelberg and Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Samir I. Sayegh, W. K. Kellogg Eye Center/Univ. of Michigan and Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Gerard A. Mourou, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Josef F. Bille, Univ. of Heidelberg (Germany)
Tibor Juhasz, W. K. Kellogg Eye Center/Univ. of Michigan and Univ. of Michigan (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3564:
Medical Applications of Lasers in Dermatology, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, and Dentistry II
Gregory B. Altshuler; Stefan Andersson-Engels; Reginald Birngruber; Peter Bjerring; Adolf Friedrich Fercher; Herbert J. Geschwind; Raimund Hibst; Herbert Hoenigsmann; Frederic Laffitte; Hericus J. C. M. Sterenborg, Editor(s)

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