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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 12;99(15):158104. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Plasma and cavitation dynamics during pulsed laser microsurgery in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Physics & Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, VU Station B #351807, Nashville, Tennessee 37235-1807, USA.


We compare the plasma and cavitation dynamics underlying pulsed laser microsurgery in water and in fruit fly embryos (in vivo)--specifically for nanosecond pulses at 355 and 532 nm. We find two key differences. First, the plasma-formation thresholds are lower in vivo--especially at 355 nm--due to the presence of endogenous chromophores that serve as additional sources for plasma seed electrons. Second, the biological matrix constrains the growth of laser-induced cavitation bubbles. Both effects reduce the disrupted region in vivo when compared to extrapolations from measurements in water.

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