David Cohen Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr. (United States) Roy S. H. Chuck Columbia Univ. (United States) Gregory H. Bearman ANE Image (United States) Peter J. McDonnell Univ. of Southern California School of Medicine (United States) Warren S. Grundfest Cedars-Sinai Medical Ctr. and Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
Ablation of human corneal tissue with 193 nm excimer laser energy generates fluorescence in the near ultraviolet and visible regions of the spectrum. The fluorescence spectra from five human corneas were collected during ablation in vitro. We find that the fluorescence spectrum changes continuously as the cornea is ablated from the epithelial surface towards the endothelium. We reduced the dimensionality of the large data set resulting from each cornea by a principal components analysis. The three most significant principal component eigenvectors suffice to describe the observed spectral evolution, and independent analysis of each tissue sample produces a similar set of eigenvectors. The evolution of the calculated eigenvector weighting factors during ablation then corresponds to the observed spectral evolution. In fact, this evolution is qualitatively consistent between corneas. We suggest that this spectral evolution offers promise as a real-time surgical feedback tool.