22 February 2017 A new paradigm for use of ultrafast lasers in ophthalmology for enhancement of corneal mechanical properties and permanent correction of refractive errors
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Abstract
A new paradigm for strengthening of corneal tissue as well as permanent correction of refractive errors has been proposed. Ultrafast laser irradiation is confined to the levels below optical breakdown such that tissue damage is avoided while creating an ionization field responsible for subsequent photochemical modification of the stroma. The concept was assed using newly developed platform for precise application of a near-IR femtosecond laser irradiation to the cornea in in-vitro experiments. Targeted irradiation with tightly focused ultrafast laser pulses allows spatially resolved crosslinking in the interior of the porcine cornea in the absence of photosensitizers. The formation of intra- or interstromal covalent bonds in collagen matrix locally increases lamellar density. Due to high resolution, treatment is spatially resolved and therefore can be tailored to either enhance structure of corneal stroma or adjust corneal curvature towards correcting refractive errors. As the induced modification is primarily driven by nonlinear absorption, the treatment is essentially wavelength independent, and as such potentially less harmful than current method of choice, joint application of UVA light irradiation in conjunction with riboflavin. Potential applicability of a near-IR femtosecond laser for biomechanical stabilization of cornea and non-invasive refractive eye corrections is discussed.
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Chao Wang, Chao Wang, Mikhail Fomovsky, Mikhail Fomovsky, Jamie R. Hall, Jamie R. Hall, David C. Paik, David C. Paik, Stephen L. Trokel, Stephen L. Trokel, Sinisa Vukelic, Sinisa Vukelic, } "A new paradigm for use of ultrafast lasers in ophthalmology for enhancement of corneal mechanical properties and permanent correction of refractive errors", Proc. SPIE 10066, Energy-based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment IX, 100660Y (22 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254945; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254945
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