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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1995 Jan;(310):30-6.

Mechanisms of meniscal tissue ablation by short pulse laser irradiation.

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Laboratory for the Study of Skeletal Disorders and Rehabilitation, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


A new experimental technique was developed to study short-pulsed laser ablation of biologic tissues (human meniscus and bovine tibial bone), water, and acrylic. The experimental technique was based on interferometric monitoring of the motion of the tissue surface to measure its laser-induced expansion after irradiation. The thermoelastic expansion of these materials after laser irradiation under subablation threshold was examined to determine its role in the initiation of ablation. The experimentally observed surface expansion of cortical bone and acrylic was in agreement with theoretical predictions. The movement of meniscal tissue was similar to that shown by water. The latter 2 materials showed additional features consistent with the growth and collapse of cavitation bubbles. The exact role of cavitation in the irradiation of meniscal tissue by laser light remains unknown, but may represent a clinically important mode of tissue ablation and postirradiation trauma.

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