Analysis of cavitation dynamics during pulsed laser tissue ablation by optical on-line monitoring

Ralf Brinkmann*, Christoph Hansen, Dirk Mohrenstecher, Manfred Scheu, Reginald Birngruber

*Corresponding author for this work
30 Citations (Scopus)


Flashlamp pumped mid-IR laser systems emitting in the 2-3-μm wavelength range are widely used for various medical applications, especially for tissue ablation. Explosive evaporation is inevitably associated with this process due to the short pulse durations of these laser systems and the high absorption of tissue and water in this spectral regime. Tissue displacement and dissection occur in liquid environment as a consequence of the induced cavitation. Depending on the application these processes might enhance the tissue ablation but can also cause adverse tissue effects. The ablation dynamics were investigated by evaluating the change in reflected probe-light intensity reemitted from the application fiber tip. The ablated cavity and the signal was correlated to fast-flash photographs of the event. Based on this reflection signal a water/tissue discrimination system is introduced which can widely support medical laser applications. In laser sclerostomy ab externo, for example, this approach can be used as a feedback system to automatically control the ablation process. With such a system, adverse effects to adjacent tissue in the anterior chamber of the eye can be minimized.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)826-834
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 12.1996

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering


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