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1 July 2004 Temporal effects of femtosecond-to-nanosecond laser ablation on fresh porcine liver
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Using a Ti:Sapphire laser operating at 800nm and a repetition rate of 1 kHz, we investigated the damage induced to fresh cadaveric porcine liver after laser irradiation for pulse widths of 120-fs, 8ps, and 7-ns. The laser was held constant at a focal spot diameter of 100μm yielding a maximum fluence of 9J/cm2. Then, using polarization optics, the energy per pulse was controlled to well below ablation threshold fluences. The tissue samples were translated under the laser via 0.1μm resolution encoded X-Y-Z motorized stages. After irradiation and fixation, we evaluated the tissues using brightfield light microscopy of Hematoxylin and Eosin stained 4 μm thick cross sections, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The tissue samples were examined for both removal rates of material, thermal damage to surrounding tissue, and cell disruption for equivalent fluence levels across the temporal range. We found an increase in removal rate along with a decrease in thermal damage as the pulse widths approached the femtosecond regime for a constant fluence. With femtosecond pulses, ablation still occurred below fluences of 2J/cm2. However, for nanosecond pulses, ablation no longer occurred, showing a decrease in ablation threshold as the pulse width decreases. Because of the reduced thermal effects compared to nanosecond pulses, ultrafast lasers may offer a solution to more precise tissue removal with less damage to surrounding cells.
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Bryan S. Irwin, Michael N. Nguyen, Russell G. Higbee, Kenneth E. Bartels, Kenneth H. Church, and William L. Warren "Temporal effects of femtosecond-to-nanosecond laser ablation on fresh porcine liver", Proc. SPIE 5319, Laser Interaction with Tissue and Cells XV, (1 July 2004);

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