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Proceedings Paper

Shielding by the ablation plume during Er:YAG laser ablation
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Paper Abstract

Free running Er:YAG lasers are used for a precise tissue ablation in various clinical application as, for example, laser skin resurfacing. The ablated material is ejected from the tissue surface in the direction of the incident laser beam. We investigated the influence of the shielding by the ablation plume on the energy deposition into the irradiated sample because it influences the ablation dynamics and the amount of ablated material. The shielding was investigated for gelatin with different water content, skin and water. Laser flash photography combined with a dark field Schlieren technique was used to visualize the gaseous and liquid ablation products. The distance traveled by the ablating laser beam through the ablation plume was evaluated from the photographs for various times after the beginning of the laser pulse. The temporal evolution of the transmission through the ablation plume was probed using a second free running Er:YAG laser beam directed parallel to the sample surface. The ablation dynamics shows two phases: Vaporization and material ejection. The photographic observations give evidence for a phase explosion to be the driving mechanism for the material ejection. The photographic observations give evidence for a phase explosion to be the driving mechanism for the material ejection. The transmission is only slightly reduced by the vapor plume, but it decreases by 25-50% when the ejected material passes the probe beam. The laser energy deposited into the sample amounts to only 61% of the incident energy for gelatin samples with 90% water content and 86% for skin samples. The shielding must therefore be considered in modeling the ablation dynamics and determining the dosage for clinical applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2001
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 4257, Laser-Tissue Interaction XII: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical, (9 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.434711
Show Author Affiliations
Kester Nahen, Medical Laser Ctr. Luebeck GmbH (United States)
Alfred Vogel, Medical Laser Ctr. Luebeck GmbH (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4257:
Laser-Tissue Interaction XII: Photochemical, Photothermal, and Photomechanical
Donald Dean Duncan; Peter C. Johnson; Donald Dean Duncan; Steven L. Jacques; Peter C. Johnson, Editor(s)

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