Thulium fiber laser damage to Nitinol stone baskets

Christopher R. Wilson, Luke A. Hardy, Pierce B. Irby, Nathaniel M. Fried

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


Our laboratory is studying the experimental Thulium fiber laser (TFL) as an alternative lithotripter to clinical gold standard Holmium:YAG laser. Safety studies characterizing undesirable Holmium laser-induced damage to Nitinol stone baskets have been previously reported. Similarly, this study characterizes TFL induced stone basket damage. A TFL beam with pulse energy of 35 mJ, pulse duration of 500 μs, and pulse rates of 50-500 Hz was delivered through 100-μm-core optical fibers, to a standard 1.9-Fr Nitinol stone basket wire. Stone basket damage was graded as a function of pulse rate, number of pulses, and working distance. Nitinol wire damage decreased with working distance and was non-existent at distances greater than 1.0 mm. In contact mode, 500 pulses delivered at pulse rates ≥ 200 Hz (≤ 2.5 s) were sufficient to cut Nitinol wires. The Thulium fiber laser, operated in low pulse energy and high pulse rate mode, may provide a greater safety margin than standard Holmium laser for lithotripsy, as evidenced by shorter non-contact working distances for stone basket damage than previously reported with Holmium laser.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XI
ISBN (Print)9781628413939
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XI - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 7 2015Feb 8 2015


OtherPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Ablation
  • Basket
  • Fragmentation
  • Lithotripsy
  • Nitinol
  • Thulium

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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