Lasers have demonstrated widespread applicability in clinical dermatology as minimally invasive instruments that achieve photogenerated responses within tissue. However, before reaching its target, the incident light must first transmit through the surface layer of tissue, which is interspersed with chromophores (e.g. melanin) that preferentially absorb the light and may also generate negative tissue responses. These optical absorbers decrease the efficacy of the procedures. In order to ensure that the target receives a clinically relevant dose, most procedures simply increase the incident energy; however, this tends to exacerbate the negative complications of melanin absorption. Here, we present an alternative solution aimed at increasing epidermal energy uence while mitigating excess absorption by unintended targets. Our technique involves the combination of a waveguide-based contact transmission modality with simultaneous high-frequency ultrasonic pulsation, which alters the optical properties of the tissue through the agglomeration of dissolved gasses into micro-bubbles within the tissue. Doing so effectively creates optically transparent pathways for the light to transmit unobstructed through the tissue, resulting in an increase in forward scattering and a decrease in absorption. To demonstrate this, Q-switched nanosecond-pulsed laser light at 532nm was delivered into pig skin samples using custom glass waveguides clad in titanium and silver. Light transmission through the tissue was measured with a photodiode and integrating sphere for tissue with and without continuous ultrasonic pulsation at 510 kHz. The combination of these techniques has the potential to improve the efficiency of laser procedures while mitigating negative tissue effects caused by undesirable absorption.
Paul J. D. Whiteside, Jeff A. Chininis, Mason W. Schellenberg, Chenxi Qian, and Heather K. Hunt, "Increased epidermal laser fluence through simultaneous ultrasonic microporation," Proc. SPIE 9706, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXVII, 97061E (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 17, 2016; Published: 7 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2211130.
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