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Proceedings Paper

Laser-induced cartilage damage: an ex-vivo model using confocal microscopy
Author(s): Martin Frenz; Benno J. Zueger; D. Monin; C. Weiler; P. M. Mainil-Varlet; Heinz P. Weber; Thomas Schaffner
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Paper Abstract

Although there is an increasing popularity of lasers in orthopedic surgery, there is a growing concern about negative side effects of this therapy e.g. prolonged restitution time, radiation damage to adjacent cartilage or depth effects like bone necrosis. Despite case reports and experimental investigations over the last few years little is known about the extent of acute cartilage damage induced by different lasers types and energies. Histological examination offers only limited insights in cell viability and metabolism. Ho:YAG and Er:YAG lasers emitting at 2.1 micrometer and 2.94 micrometer, respectively, are ideally suited for tissue treatment because these wavelengths are strongly absorbed in water. The Purpose of the present study is to evaluate the effect of laser type and energy on chondrocyte viability in an ex vivo model. Free running Er:YAG (E equals 100 and 150 mJ) and Ho:YAG (E equals 500 and 800 mJ) lasers were used at different energy levels using a fixed pulse length of 400 microseconds. The energy was delivered at 8 Hz through optical fibers. Fresh bovine hyaline cartilage samples were mounted in a water bath at room temperature and the fiber was positioned at 30 degree and 180 degree angles relative to the tissue surface. After laser irradiation the samples were assessed by a life-dead cell viability test using a confocal microscope and by standard histology. Thermal damage was much deeper with Ho:YAG (up to 1800 micrometer) than with the Er:YAG laser (up to 70 micrometer). The cell viability test revealed a damage zone about twice the one determined by standard histology. Confocal microscopy is a powerful tool for assessing changes in tissue structure after laser treatment. In addition this technique allows to quantify these alterations without necessitating time consuming and expensive animal experiments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 June 1999
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3601, Laser-Tissue Interaction X: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical, (14 June 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.350040
Show Author Affiliations
Martin Frenz, Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)
Benno J. Zueger, Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)
D. Monin, Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)
C. Weiler, Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)
P. M. Mainil-Varlet, Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)
Heinz P. Weber, Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)
Thomas Schaffner, Univ. of Bern (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3601:
Laser-Tissue Interaction X: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical
Steven L. Jacques; David H. Sliney; Gerhard J. Mueller; Gerhard J. Mueller; Andre Roggan; Andre Roggan; David H. Sliney, Editor(s)

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