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J Biomed Opt. 2009 Sep-Oct;14(5):054040. doi: 10.1117/1.3253382.

Repetition rate dependency of reactive oxygen species formation during femtosecond laser-based cell surgery.

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  • 1Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Hollerithallee 8, Hannover, 30419, Germany.

Erratum in

  • J Biomed Opt. 2010 Sep-Oct;15(5):059802.


Femtosecond (fs) laser-based cell surgery is typically done in two different regimes, at kHz or MHz repetition rate. Formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is an often predicted effect due to illumination with short laser pulses in biological tissue. We present our study on ROS formation in single cells in response to irradiation with fs laser pulses depending on the repetition rate while focusing into the cell nucleus. We observed a significant increase of ROS concentration directly after manipulation followed by a decrease in both regimes at kHz and MHz repetition rate. In addition, effects of consecutive exposures at MHz and kHz repetition rate and vice versa on ROS production were studied. Irradiation with a MHz pulse train followed by a kHz pulse train resulted in a significantly higher increase of ROS concentration than in the reversed case and often caused cell death. In the presence of the antioxidant ascorbic acid, accumulation of ROS and cell death were strongly reduced. Therefore, addition of antioxidants during fs laser-based cell surgery experiments could be advantageous in terms of suppressing photochemical damage to the cell.

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