17 February 2011 Continuous-wave vs. pulsed infrared laser stimulation of the rat prostate cavernous nerves
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Optical nerve stimulation has recently been developed as an alternative to electrical nerve stimulation. However, recent studies have focused primarily on pulsed delivery of the laser radiation and at relatively low pulse rates. The objective of this study is to demonstrate faster optical stimulation of the prostate cavernous nerves using continuouswave (CW) infrared laser radiation, for potential diagnostic applications. A Thulium fiber laser (λ = 1870 nm) was used for non-contact optical stimulation of the rat prostate cavernous nerves, in vivo. Optical nerve stimulation, as measured by an intracavernous pressure (ICP) response in the penis, was achieved with the laser operating in either CW mode, or with a 5-ms pulse duration at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 100 Hz. Successful optical stimulation was observed to be primarily dependent on a threshold nerve temperature (42-45 °C), not an incident fluence, as previously reported. CW optical nerve stimulation provides a significantly faster ICP response time using a laser with lower power output than pulsed stimulation. CW optical nerve stimulation may therefore represent an alternative mode of stimulation for intra-operative diagnostic applications where a rapid response is critical, such as identification of the cavernous nerves during prostate cancer surgery.
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Serhat Tozburun, Christopher M. Cilip, Gwen A. Lagoda, Arthur L. Burnett, Nathaniel M. Fried, "Continuous-wave vs. pulsed infrared laser stimulation of the rat prostate cavernous nerves", Proc. SPIE 7883, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VII, 78831A (17 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.872876; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.872876

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