Photothermal medical laser treatments are extremely dependent on the generated tissue temperature. It is necessary to reach a certain temperature threshold to achieve successful results, whereas preventing to exceed an upper temperature value is required to avoid thermal damage. One method to overcome this problem is to use previously conducted dosimetry studies as a reference. Nevertheless, these results are acquired in controlled environments using uniform subjects. In the clinical environment, the optical and thermal characteristics (tissue color, composition and hydration level) vary dramatically among different patients. Therefore, the most reliable solution is to use a closed-loop feedback system that monitors the target tissue temperature to control laser exposure. In this study, we present a compact, non-contact temperature measurement system for the control of photothermal medical laser applications that is cost-efficient and simple to use. The temperature measurement is achieved using a focused, commercially available MOEMS infrared thermocouple sensor embedded in an off-axis arrangement on the laser beam delivery hand probe. The spot size of the temperature sensor is ca. 2.5 mm, reasonably smaller than the laser spot sizes used in photothermal medical laser applications. The temperature readout and laser control is realized using a microcontroller for fast operation. The utilization of the developed system may enable the adaptation of several medical laser treatments that are currently conducted only in controlled laboratory environments into the clinic. Laser tissue welding and cartilage reshaping are two of the techniques that are limited to laboratory research at the moment. This system will also ensure the safety and success of laser treatments aiming hyperthermia, coagulation and ablation, as well as LLLT and PDT.
Özgür Kaya and Murat Gülsoy, "A non-contact temperature measurement system for controlling photothermal medical laser treatments," Proc. SPIE 9706, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXVII, 97060K (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 7 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212254.
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