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Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng. 2013 Mar 8;8565. doi: 10.1117/12.980912.

3 μm CW lasers for myringotomy and microsurgery.

Author information

1
Spire Corporation, One Patriots Park, Bedford, MA, USA 01730.
2
First co-author, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA, USA 02115.
3
Sheaumann Laser, 45 Bartlett St., Marlborough, MA, USA 01752.
4
Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA, USA 02115.

Abstract

This paper describes the development and implementation of 3 μm lasers for myringotomy and microsurgery. Two different lasers were investigated. The first, an Er-doped, CW zirconate glass fiber laser optically pumped by a 970 nm diode laser, emitted > 1 W of CW power at 2.76 μm with concomitant green incoherent emission that served as a convenient visible illumination beam. The second, a 1 W CW Er:YAG solid-state laser also optically pumped by a 970 nm diode laser, emitted > 1 W of CW power at 2.94 μm, coincident with the strongest infrared water absorption peak. Running CW, both lasers are expected to avoid the loud acoustical shocks associated with pulsed lasers. Myringotomies were carried out with the Er:YAG laser on anaesthetized guinea pigs and the effects of the laser were documented. Laser ablated samples of tympanic membrane, soft tissue and bone were histologically examined. Histology results indicated that the CW Er:YAG laser is a potential candidate for a new myringotomy tool and possibly for otologic microsurgery, but deliverable power levels need to be increased to the 2 W (or higher) level. This work was funded under NIH SBIR Grant No. 5R44DC004899.

KEYWORDS:

Er:YAG laser; Mid-IR lasers; microsurgery; myringotomy; zirconate glass laser

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