The relationship between cortical bone tissue removal and the number of applied pulses was explored. By altering the laser spot translation rate, we varied the number of pulses at each point along scribed linear cuts. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and PDMS casting indicates that cut depth is linearly dependent on the number of pulses applied to the tissue, irrespective of donor species. For single pulse ablation of ovine and bovine cortical bone, we determined that the ablation rates were 0.41 - 0.75 μm per pulse and 0.28 - 0.90 μm per pulse when pulses of fluences in the range 0.52 - 2.63 Jcm−2 were applied to ovine and bovine cortical bone tissue, respectively. Structural analysis of the ablation features using environmental scanning electron microscopy and optical microscopy were utilized to assess the ablation features and identify signs of damage to surrounding tissue. We observed no structural indications of thermal shockwave cracking, molten debris deposition or charring of the tissue whilst leaving hydroxyapatite crystal structure intact.
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Simon A. Ashforth, M. Cather Simpson, Owen Bodley, Reece Oosterbeek, "Ultrashort pulse laser interactions with cortical bone tissue for applications in orthopaedic surgery," Proc. SPIE 9355, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XV, 935508 (15 April 2015);