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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1987 Aug;28(8):1290-7.

Interferometric technique for investigation of laser thermal retinal damage.


We describe a new technique for investigating laser-tissue interactions based on the use of an interferometric laser exposure pattern. A Michelson interferometer is used to generate a sinusoidal fringe exposure pattern. The periodicity of the fringe pattern may be adjusted from macroscopic dimensions to a scale of microns without the need for an imaging plane. Since fringe pattern periodicity is more adjustable and directly measureable than laser spot size, this technique offers significant advantages for studying the effects of thermal damage and diffusion in the irradiated tissue. In addition, the comparison of tissue response with theoretical models is simplified since the sinusoidal fringe pattern is itself an eigenfunction of the thermal diffusion equation. This technique is demonstrated for argon laser photocoagulation in the rabbit retina. Exposures at durations comparable to the thermal relaxation time produced spatially confined lesions, while those at much longer durations resulted in significant diffusion of the thermal damage beyond the primary targeted regions. The role of thermal diffusion can thus be assessed directly from the ophthalmoscopic and histologic appearances of the lesions. This technique can be employed to study thermal diffusion and other transport phenomena occurring in laser-tissue interactions for a variety of laser sources and tissue targets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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