Laser Surgery and Medical Diagnostics

The development of novel fiber laser sources in the mid-infrared wavelengths (2-10 µm) is very important for biomedical applications. The mid-infrared absorption spectra are significantly different for different biological fluids, soft tissues and hard tissues. The proper mid-infrared wavelength selection for a particular laser surgery will optimize the surgery performance and eliminate collateral damages.

In the medical field, delivery of energy from medical free-electron laser operating between 2 and 10 micron has been reported using chalcogenide fiber. In certain cases, surgery at 6.1 and 6.45 micron leads to less denatured tissue and scarring than with conventional erbium: yttrium aluminum garnet (Er:YAG) lasers operating at 2.94 micron.

There is potential for applications involving laser machining of numerous materials and biological samples, by tuning the wavelength and transmission of the laser power through chalcogenide fiber to remote areas.