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A theoretical investigation of human skin thermal response to near-infrared laser irradiation
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Paper Abstract

Near-infrared wavelengths are absorbed less by epidermal melanin mainly located at the basal layer of epidermis (dermo-epidermal junction), and penetrate deeper into human skin dermis and blood than visible wavelengths. Therefore, laser irradiation using near-infrared wavelength may improve the therapeutic outcome of cutaneous hyper-vascular malformations in moderately to heavily pigmented skin patients and those with large-sized blood vessels or blood vessels extending deeply into the skin. A mathematical model composed of a Monte Carlo algorithm to estimate the distribution of absorbed light followed by numerical solution of a bio-heat diffusion equation was utilized to investigate the thermal response of human skin to near-infrared laser irradiation, and compared it with that to visible laser irradiation. Additionally, the effect of skin surface cooling on epidermal protection was theoretically investigated. Simulation results indicated that 940 nm wavelength is superior to 810 and 1064 nm in terms of the ratio of light absorption by targeted blood vessel to the absorption by the basal layer of epidermis, and is more efficient than 595 nm wavelength for the treatment of patients with large-sized blood vessels and moderately to heavily pigmented skin. Dermal blood content has a considerable effect on the laser-induced peak temperature at the basal layer of epidermis, while the effect of blood vessel size is minimum.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 July 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5312, Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems XIV, (13 July 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.529146
Show Author Affiliations
Tianhong Dai, Rice Univ. (United States)
Brian M. Pikkula, Rice Univ. (United States)
Lihong V. Wang, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Bahman Anvari, Rice Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5312:
Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems XIV
Brian Jet-Fei Wong M.D.; Nikiforos Kollias; Kenton W. Gregory M.D.; Henry Hirschberg; Reza S. Malek M.D.; Abraham Katzir; David S. Robinson M.D.; Kenneth Eugene Bartels D.V.M.; Eugene A. Trowers M.D.; Werner T.W. de Riese; Lawrence S. Bass M.D.; Lloyd P. Tate V.D.M.; Steen J. Madsen; Keith D. Paulsen; Karen M. McNally-Heintzelman, Editor(s)

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