Laser selective cutting of biological tissues by impulsive heat deposition through ultrafast vibrational excitations

Optics Express
Kresimir FranjicR J Dwayne Miller


Mechanical and thermodynamic responses of biomaterials after impulsive heat deposition through vibrational excitations (IHDVE) are investigated and discussed. Specifically, we demonstrate highly efficient ablation of healthy tooth enamel using 55 ps infrared laser pulses tuned to the vibrational transition of interstitial water and hydroxyapatite around 2.95 microm. The peak intensity at 13 GW/cm(2) was well below the plasma generation threshold and the applied fluence 0.75 J/cm(2) was significantly smaller than the typical ablation thresholds observed with nanosecond and microsecond pulses from Er:YAG lasers operating at the same wavelength. The ablation was performed without adding any superficial water layer at the enamel surface. The total energy deposited per ablated volume was several times smaller than previously reported for non-resonant ultrafast plasma driven ablation with similar pulse durations. No micro-cracking of the ablated surface was observed with a scanning electron microscope. The highly efficient ablation is attributed to an enhanced photomechanical effect due to ultrafast vibrational relaxation into heat and the scattering of powerful ultrafast acoustic transients with random phases off the mesoscopic hete...Continue Reading


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