Characterization of acoustic shock wave will guarantee efficient tissue differentiation as feedback to reduce the probability of undesirable damaging (i.e. cutting) of tissues in laser surgery applications. We ablated hard (bone) and soft (muscle) tissues using a nanosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm and a microsecond pulsed Er:YAG laser at 2.94 μm. When the intense short ns-pulsed laser is applied to material, the energy gain causes locally a plasma at the ablated spot that expands and propagates as an acoustic shock wave with a rarefaction wave behind the shock front. However, when using a μs-pulsed Er:YAG laser for material ablation, the acoustic shock wave is generated during the explosion of the ablated material. We measured and compared the emitted acoustic shock wave generated by a ns-pulsed Nd:YAG laser and a μs-pulsed Er:YAG laser measured by a calibrated microphone. As the acoustic shock wave attenuates as it propagates through air, the distance between ablation spots and a calibrated microphone was at 5 cm. We present the measurements on the propagation characteristics of the laser generated acoustic shock wave by measuring the arrival time-of-flight with a calibrated microphone and the energy-dependent evolution of acoustic parameters such as peak-topeak pressure, the ratio of the peak-to-peak pressures for the laser induced breakdown in air, the ablated muscle and the bone, and the spectral energy.
A high power pulsed laser with millisecond pulse was used to interact with a bone and muscle of porcine, initiating an acoustic wave. We start to describe principle of laser ablation follows by the acoustic wave generation. Then, we present the characterization of these wave features for laser surgery applications.