Effects of pressure rise on cw laser ablation of tissue

Gerald L. LeCarpentier, Massoud Motamedi, A. J. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The objectives of this research were to identify mechanisms responsible for the initiation of continuous wave (cw) laser ablation of tissue and investigate the role of pressure in the ablation process. Porcine aorta samples were irradiated in a chamber pressurized from 1×10-4 to 12 atomospheres absolute pressure. Acrylic and Zn-Se windows in the experimental pressure chamber allowed video and infrared cameras to simultaneously record mechanical and thermal events associated with cw argon laser ablation of these samples. Video and thermal images of tissue slabs documented the explosive nature of cw laser ablation of soft biological media and revealed similar ablation threshold temperatures and ablation onset times under different environmental pressures; however, more violent initiation explosions with decreasing environmental pressures were observed. These results suggest that ablation initiates with thermal alterations in the mechanical strength of the tissue and proceeds with an explosion induced by the presence superheated liquid within the tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of Laser-Tissue Interaction II - Los Angeles, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 21 1991Jan 23 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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