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J Biomed Opt. 2007 Nov-Dec;12(6):064034. doi: 10.1117/1.2804078.

Optical detection of intracellular cavitation during selective laser targeting of the retinal pigment epithelium: dependence of cell death mechanism on pulse duration.

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1
Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Abstract

Selective laser targeting of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is an attractive method for treating RPE-associated disorders. We are developing a method for optically detecting intracellular microcavitation that can potentially serve as an immediate feedback of the treatment outcome. Thermal denaturation or intracellular cavitation can kill RPE cells during selective targeting. We examined the cell damage mechanism for laser pulse durations from 1 to 40 micros ex vivo. Intracellular cavitation was detected as a transient increase in the backscattered treatment beam. Cavitation and cell death were correlated for individual cells after single-pulse irradiation. The threshold radiant exposures for cell death (ED(50,d)) and cavitation (ED(50,c)) increased with pulse duration and were approximately equal for pulses of up to 10 micros. For 20 micros, the ED(50,d) was about 10% lower than the ED(50,c); the difference increased with 40-micros pulses. Cells were killed predominantly by cavitation (up to 10-micros pulses); probability of thermally induced cell death without cavitation gradually increases with pulse duration. Threshold measurements are discussed by modeling the temperature distribution around laser-heated melanosomes and the scattering function from the resulting cavitation. Detection of intracellular cavitation is a highly sensitive method that can potentially provide real-time assessment of RPE damage during selective laser targeting.

PMID:
18163850
DOI:
10.1117/1.2804078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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