Laser-induced acoustic stresses under submerged biological membranes

Alysia Sagi-Dolev, Gerald R. Harris, Ronald W. Waynant, Israel Gannot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ER:YAG lasers are being widely studied as candidates for surgical procedures in liquid environments, such as in ophthalmology. However, while the Er:YAG laser can be a precise and efficient light scalpel, this surgical method includes accompanying stress waves that must be quantified and evaluated for potential harm. In this study, ER:YAG laser-induced stress waves for free running laser pulses were measured over various consecutive treatment periods. Using a spot-poled PVDF hydrophone, measurements were acquired beneath a biological membrane, submerged in a saline bath. Results yielded pressures peaks of 300-600 mbar beneath the uncut membrane, which could be harmful for the optic nerve if located directly below the treatment area. Acoustic waves representative of direct laser-liquid interactions were observed immediately following membrane rupture, and yielded much larger pressures. The morphological changes in the acoustic wave can be used as a feedback signal to indicate when the membrane has been cut.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1027-1031
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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