Lasers for Medical Technologies
High Power Combined Far-UV-VIS-IR Laser Precision Processing of Medical and Technical Materials
Tech Area / Field
- PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics
- MED-DID/Diagnostics & Devices/Medicine
8 Project completed
Senior Project Manager
Malakhov Yu I
B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics, Belarus, Minsk
- Erothitan Titanimplantate AG, Germany, Suhl\nUniversity of Vienna, Austria, Vienna\nMedical University of Vienna, Austria, Vienna\nParacelsus Medical University, Austria, Salzburg
Project summaryObjectives: The project aims at a medical processing technology for human tissues and medical implant materials on the basis of the development of a customized portable prototype Nd:YAG laser system with the novel combined spatially and temporally aligned delivery of the 3rd (355nm), 4th (266nm) or 5th (213 nm) harmonics together with the IR radiation in the range of 1.3-1.6 µm.
State of Affairs in the Research Area: A number of ophthalmologic laser applications e.g. Radial Keratotomy (RK), Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), and Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASIK) are connected with reshaping the cornea based on ablation of tissues with excimer lasers (e.g., argon fluoride, 193 nm). In dermatological and some other medical treatments excimer UV laser at 308 nm are also used. Investigations are conducted to improve efficiency of laser treatment, healing, long-term results of treatment, eliminate complications; and reliability and convenience in servicing of installations. Replacing the gas ArF (193 nm) excimer laser with the 5th harmonic of the Nd:YAG laser (213 nm) for LASEK and PRK would eliminate the hazards of a gas laser and would reduce its size and footprint [Ren Q, Simon G, Legeais JM, Parel JM, Culbertson W, Shen J, Takesue Y, Savoldelli M., "Ultraviolet solid-state laser (213-nm) photorefractive keratectomy. In vivo study", Ophthalmology 101 (1994) 883-889]. There are examples of the successful usage of 213 nm also in dentistry. The degree of corneal hydration has been linked to excimer laser corneal ablation rates [Brian T. Fisher, B.S., Kathryn A. Masiello, B.S., Michael H. Goldstein, M.D., and David W. Hahn, Ph.D. "Assessment of Transient Changes in Corneal Hydration Using Confocal Raman Spectroscopy", Cornea 22 (2003) 363–370]. Controlled corneal hydration conditions would result in precision-controlled results in laser surgery. There also exists a broad range of high precision machining needs in medical transplant and implant materials, in sensorics, micro-optics, etc., as well as in other contemporary high technology applications where laser-assisted processing of AlOx, TiOx films on metals and ceramics (Al2O3, AlN, etc.) for protective, decorative and other purposes is promising.
Project Effect on the Research Area Progress: The realization of the purposes of the project will in the whole lead to development of a new technology for medical (ophthalmology, dentistry etc.) treatment of human tissues by combined far UV-near IR beam frequencies, which will provide for a higher processing quality and highly predicable results without uncontrolled after-effects in healing. Moreover, the new prototype Nd:YAG laser system with uniquely powerful UV radiation of 3-5th harmonic in combination with IR radiation in the range of 1.3-1.6 μm will boost nanosecond precision to near-femtosecond quality by combined UV- IR beam frequencies paralleled by high power and superior beam quality for laser machining of composite materials used in modern areas of medicine and medical technologies, such as implants, for example.
Competence of Project Participants: Project Participants, among which are 6 doctors of sciences (including 4 professors), 8 candidates of physics-mathematical sciences, 1 candidates of technical sciences, 1 candidate of biological sciences, 12 persons with higher education, made a considerable contribution to the light-matter interaction theory, predicted and discovered a number of new effects in nonlinear optics, carried out an extensive cycle of experimental investigations in the field of quantum electronics, nonlinear optics, laser spectroscopy, bio-chemistry, and laser physics, including research directed to military systems, and developed a number of highly sophisticated laser systems.
Expected Results and their Application: On fulfillment of two tasks of the project the next basic and applied results will be obtained: In Task 1, having a large applied potential, optimum optical and structural schemes of the prototype of the UV-IR Nd:YAG laser system will be investigated and developed. The unique robust energy-stabilized Nd:YAG prototype laser system with a powerful UV output of the 5th (213 nm) harmonic with 50-100 mJ, the 4th harmonic (266 nm) with 200-300 mJ, the 3rd harmonic (355 nm) with 250-300 mJ in combination with IR radiation in the range of 1.3-1.6 μm with 50-150 mJ delivered in one single output beam with optimum beam profile will be manufactured, tested, improved and commercialized. In Task 2, having a large basic and applied potential, the above-mentioned unique features will be employed to tackle machining problems typical for the wet environment of e.g. human hard tissues, corneal tissues and model polymers. The possibility of initial water film evaporation by the IR beam component followed by ablation of the biopolymer components with the 213 nm component will be investigated. Bio-changes produced by UV-IR laser radiation in corneal fine structure and some other tissues will be traced. Optimum conditions of “dry” ablation in wet environment of corneal tissues for combined UV and IR radiation will be obtained. Treatment of model and real medical implant materials for ultimate quality and productivity will be conducted. The laser ablation interaction of combined UV-IR radiation with composite materials of which components have absorbances in various spectral ranges will be investigated. Will be investigated such compounds, for example as human corneal tissue, skin, bone, collagen, polymer (PMMA, PI etc) and oxide (AlOx, TiOx, alloys etc) films on metals, ceramics, polymer film materials with carbon nanostructures, etc. Various environments will be tested, such as air, water, body liquids, corrosive electrolytes, and inert gases. Conditions of high-precision laser treatment of various compound components with combined UV and IR radiation will be outlined. Incubation phenomena will be investigated for various structures with the purpose of precise tuning and reproducibility on account of the combined action of UV-IR radiation.
Area of application: Results of the project will be used in ophthalmologic, dermatological, and some other medical laser applications with improved efficiency, healing, long-term results of laser treatment, diminished complications, improved reliability and convenience in servicing of equipment. They will be used in production of contemporary medical implants and in processing of high-technology materials.
The apparatus and the technology results of the project possess a significant sale potential.
Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives: The project meets ISTC goals and objectives as:
- The project provides participants of the project, most of which possess knowledge and skills related to weapons of mass destruction, opportunities to redirect their talents to peaceful activities, which are connected with development of equipment and technologies for health protection.
- The project promotes integration of the project participants into the international scientific community in the field of development of technologies and application of lasers in solving problems of health protection. The scientific and technological results obtained by the project will be offered in the way of scientific publications, patents, etc.
- The project supports basic and applied research and technology development for peaceful purposes, notably in fields of development of new contemporary commercial laser products and medical processing technologies for medical micro-surgery and medical implant materials.
- The project contributes to the solution scientific and technical problems in the field of such global problem as health protection which is important for the Republic of Belarus and international community.
- Realization of objectives of the project reinforces the transition of the Republic of Belarus and participants of the project to market-based economies responsive to civil needs due to the creation of new working places for commercial production and dissemination of novel laser systems, new processing technologies, thus ensuring steady incomes, not related to the realization of weapon systems, including ones for mass destruction, which may be proliferated to regions with an unstable political and military situation.
Scope of Activities: The project will be realized by the Institute of Physics of NASB. The project is planned for a three-year’s period. In the framework of the project two main interrelated tasks will be fulfilled. Each task is subpided into two subtasks. The total amount of work effort will be 9624,0 person*days. To develop and produce necessary optical, mechanical, electronic modules, a group of highly skilled engineers, technicians, workers will be involved and the capacities of a number of optics, mechanics and electronics producing companies will be used.
Role of Foreign Collaborators: Cooperation with foreign collaborators in the framework of the project is assumed to be in the following forms:
- meeting the project recipient’s representatives with foreign collaborators and the widely-known EU scientists for familiarization with their achievements and discussing the progress of the project;
- information interchange during realization of the project; giving explanations to the ISTC technical reports (quarter, annual, final and other);
- holding joint working seminars; preparing of joint publications
- participating in technical checks of activity under the project carried out by the ISTC employees;
- establishing strategic proposals on the commercialization of the project results
- collaborators from Austria and Germany will undertake testing of the energy-stabilized compact UV-IR Nd:YAG laser system with combined 3rd to 5th harmonic and wavelength in the range 1.3-1.6 μm in one output beam in their laser laboratory premises in respect to treating investigations on model and human tissues, composite and technical materials, including implant materials, with combined wavelengths in realistic environments (wet, gas, liquid etc.).
Technical Approach and Methodology:
In task 1, the project will rely partially on the results of the ISTC projects, in which authors of the project played crucial creative role, and the experience which they had received in the former Soviet Union during development of a number of laser systems, including those for military purposes. It will merge into a quick cycle of investigations and development of perfect production documentation for the prototype of the UV-IR Nd:YAG laser system. In task 2, the experimental UV-IR laser ablation will be conducted on samples of corneal tissues, polymer model structures, skin, bones, thin film structures on metal, ceramics, polymer film materials with carbon nanostructures, etc., which will be delivered by EU collaborators of the project as well as by Belarus participants of the project.
Estimation of laser influence on samples for the purpose of their laser treatment will be made on the basis of the objective and subjective (expert) test methods. Micro-photo shooting of samples will be made before and after laser treatment. Optical and electron microscopy of objects will be carried out. Special emphasis will be paid to diagnostics such as in situ and on-line methods as LIBS, current monitoring in laser-electrochemical cells, transient reflectometry in various spectral ranges, measuring acoustics transients and so on. Ex-situ methods, optical and electron (SEM/EDX) microscopy, x-ray spectral analysis, Auger and secondary ions mass spectroscopy (SIMS), measuring changing weight and absorptance and luminescence spectra of samples, and some other will complement the work. Changes in 3D organization of the cells and extracellular materials of cornea tissues after the effect of the UV-IR laser will be traced on the base of chemical and mechanical microdissection of tissues. Composition changes of water-soluble proteins of corneal fibroblasts after UV-IR laser interaction will be also investigated with contemporary bio-chemical techniques (vital dyeing). During all subtasks, technological solutions, patents, opto-mechanical units, and equipment which were developed and acquired earlier by the project participants will be widely used for speeding up and reducing costs. For these purposes work will be organized so that investigations in various directions will go in parallel.
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