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2 June 2011 Portable semiconductor disk laser for in vivo tissue monitoring: a platform for the development of clinical applications
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Long term in vivo observations at large penetration depths and minimum sample disturbance are some of the key factors that have enabled the study of different cellular and tissue mechanisms. The continuous optimization of these aspects is the main driving force for the development of advanced microscopy techniques such as those based on nonlinear effects. Its wide implementation for general biomedical applications is however, limited as the currently used nonlinear microscopes are based on bulky, maintenance-intensive and expensive excitation sources such as Ti:sapphire ultrafast lasers. We present the suitability of a portable (140x240x70 mm) ultrafast semiconductor disk laser (SDL) source, to be used in nonlinear microscopy. The SDL is modelocked by a quantum-dot semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM). This enables the source to deliver an average output power of 287 mW with 1.5 ps pulses at 500 MHz, corresponding to a peak power of 0.4 kW. The laser center wavelength (965 nm) virtually matches the two-photon absorption cross-section of the widely used Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). This property greatly relaxes the required peak powers, thus maximizing sample viability. This is demonstrated by presenting two-photon excited fluorescence images of GFP labeled neurons and second-harmonic generation images of pharyngeal muscles in living C. elegans nematodes. Our results also demonstrate that this compact laser is well suited for efficiently exciting different biological dyes. Importantly this non expensive, turn-key, compact laser system could be used as a platform to develop portable nonlinear bio-imaging devices, facilitating its widespread adoption in biomedical applications.
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Rodrigo Aviles-Espinosa, George Filippidis, Craig Hamilton, Graeme Malcolm, Kurt J. Weingarten, Thomas Südmeyer, Yohan Barbarin, Ursula Keller, David Artigas, and Pablo Loza-Alvarez "Portable semiconductor disk laser for in vivo tissue monitoring: a platform for the development of clinical applications", Proc. SPIE 8092, Medical Laser Applications and Laser-Tissue Interactions V, 80920R (2 June 2011);


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