Fiber optic suctioning of urinary stone phantoms during laser lithotripsy

Richard L. Blackmon, Jason R. Case, Susan R. Trammell, Pierce B. Irby, Nathaniel M. Fried

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Fiber optic attraction of urinary stones during laser lithotripsy has been previously observed, and this phenomenon may potentially be exploited to pull stones inside the urinary tract without mechanical grasping tools, thus saving the urologist valuable time and space in the ureteroscope's single working channel. In this study, Thulium fiber laser (TFL) high-pulse-rate/low-pulse- energy operation and Holmium:YAG low-pulse-rate/high-pulse-energy operation are compared for fiber optic "suctioning" of Plaster-of-Paris stone phantoms. A TFL with wavelength of 1908 nm, pulse energy of 35 mJ, pulse duration of 500 μs, and pulse rate of 10-350 Hz, and Holmium laser with wavelength of 2120 nm, pulse energy of 35-360 mJ, pulse duration of 300 μs, and pulse rate of 20 Hz were tested using 270-μm-core fibers. A peak "pull" speed of ∼ 2.5 mm/s was measured for both TFL (35 mJ and 150-250 Hz) and Holmium laser (210 mJ and 20 Hz). Particle image velocimetry and thermal imaging were used to track water flow for all parameters. Fiber optic suctioning of urinary stone phantoms is feasible for both lasers. However, TFL operation at high-pulse-rates/low-pulse-energies provides faster, smoother stone pulling than Holmium operation at low-pulserates/ high-pulse-energies. After further study, this method may be used to manipulate urinary stones in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2013
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IX - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2013Feb 7 2013


OtherPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Holmium
  • Lithotripsy
  • Retropulsion
  • Thulium
  • Urinary stones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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