We have proposed a concept of monitoring ice ball formation in biological tissues during cryodestruction process via spatially-resolved detection of elastic light backscattering. For this purpose, we developed an experimental setup for study cryodestruction by using applicators based on sapphire shaped crystals with internal channels for optical irradiation of biotissues and detection of backscattered light. Due to the unique physical properties of sapphire, i.e. high thermal, mechanical, and chemical strength, high thermal conductivity and optical transparency, the sapphire cryoapplicators yield combination of the tissue cryodestruction with the optical control of tissue freezing. We have shown experimentally that using the proposed concept of applicator with several channels, it is possible to monitor changes of the ice ball during the cryodestruction process.
In this paper, we demonstrate instruments for laser radiation delivery based on sapphire capillary needles. Such sapphire irradiators (introducers) can be used for various medical applications, such as photodynamic therapy, laser hyperthermia, laser interstitial thermal therapy, and ablation of tumors of various organs. Unique properties of sapphire allow for effective redistribution of the heat, generated in biological tissues during their exposure to laser radiation. This leads to homogeneous distribution of the laser irradiation around the needle, and lower possibility of formation of the overheating focuses, as well as the following non-transparent thrombi.
We have developed cryo-applicators based on the sapphire shaped crystals fabricated using the edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) and noncapillary shaping (NCS) techniques. Due to the unique physical properties of sapphire: i.e. high thermal, mechanical, and chemical strength, impressive thermal conductivity and optical transparency, these cryo-applicators yield combination of the tissue cryo-destruction with its exposure to laser radiation for controlling the thermal regimes of cryosurgery, and with the optical diagnosis of tissue freezing. We have applied the proposed sapphire cryo-applicators for the destruction of tissues <i>in vitro</i>. The observed results highlight the prospectives of the sapphire cryo-applicators in cryosurgery.
In this paper, an advantage of sapphire shaped crystal use for highly efficient terahertz (THz) waveguiding is discussed. The THz photonic crystal waveguide has been manufactured using the edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) or Stepanov technique of shaped crystal growth. The effective mode index and extinction coefficient of the waveguide have been experimentally studied using the THz pulsed spectroscopy. The observed results have shown that the multichannel sapphire crystal allows guiding the THz waves with minimal dispersion in frequency range of 1:0 to 1:55 THz and minimal loss of 2 dB/m at 1:45 THz. The waveguides based on sapphire shaped crystals can be employed in wide range of THz technology applications, including non-destructive evaluation of materials, medical diagnostics, and sensing in aggressive environment.