Subsurface optical stimulation of the rat prostate nerves using continuous-wave near-infrared laser radiation

Serhat Tozburun, Gwen A. Lagoda, Arthur L. Burnett, Nathaniel M. Fried

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


Successful identification and preservation of the cavernous nerves (CN), which are responsible for sexual function, during prostate cancer surgery, will require subsurface detection of the CN beneath a thin fascia layer. This study explores optical nerve stimulation (ONS) in the rat with a fascia layer placed over the CN. Two near-IR diode lasers (1455 nm and 1550 nm lasers) were used to stimulate the CN in CW mode with a 1-mm-diameter spot in 8 rats. The 1455 nm wavelength provides an optical penetration depth (OPD) of -350 μm, while 1550 nm provides an OPD of -1000 μm (-3 times deeper than 1455 nm and 1870 nm wavelengths previously tested). Fascia layers with thicknesses of 85 - 600 μm were placed over the CN. Successful ONS was confirmed by an intracavernous pressure (ICP) response in the rat penis at 1455 nm through fascia 110 μm thick and at 1550 nm through fascia 450 μm thick. Higher incident laser power was necessary and weaker and slower ICP responses were observed as fascia thickness was increased. Subsurface ONS of the rat CN at a depth of 450 μm using a 1550 nm laser is feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VIII
StatePublished - 2012
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VIII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 21 2012Jan 24 2012

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


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


  • Cavernous nerves
  • Continuous-wave
  • Optical nerve stimulation
  • Prostate
  • Subsurface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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