Proceedings PaperNanosecond laser pulses: from retinal damage to refined surgical treatment of congenital nevi and melanoma
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Recent theoretical work has shown that damage to retinal pigment epithelium cells from nanosecond laser pulses is likely to occur by bubble formation at lower fluences than damage caused by thermal heating. The bubbles form around the strongly absorbing melanosomes and the bubbles remain within the cell in which they form. This suggests that damage due to bubbles will remain localized in cells containing the strong absorbing material, whereas thermal damage tends to affect surrounding cells. This same approach may be useful in treating pigmented skin which also contains strong absorbers. By killing cells with bubbles produced by nanosecond laser pulses, damage to surrounding healthy tissue may be minimized. Laser pulse lengths, fluence levels, and potential applications for treating melanoma and congenital nevi will be discussed.