Laser flash photography of cold cavitation-driven ablation in tissues

Alexander A. Oraevsky, Rinat Esenaliev, Steven L. Jacques, Frank K. Titiel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Cold cavitation-driven ablation of collagen gels and porcine corneas by nanosecond laser pulses was visualized using flash photography with photoflash pulses at 650 nm. Initial thermoelastic stress wave propagation, cavitation bubble formation and material ejection were observed and recorded at the microsecond time-scale with 10-ns temporal resolution. Previously, the important role of tensile phase of thermoelastic stress that causes an efficient cavitation in irradiated volume and drives material ejection at temperatures substantially below 100 °C was demonstrated for aqueous solutions. The experiments reported here have confirmed possibility of similar ablation mechanism for biological tissues. The dynamics of material ejection upon short pulse ablation is dependent on incident laser fluence and tissue optical and mechanical properties. Ablation process duration increases from several microseconds to several hundred microseconds with the increase of water content in tissues and/or decrease of tissue mechanical strength. Duration time of ejection also increases with the rise of the absorbed energy density from the cavitation threshold to the thermal explosion threshold. On the basis of experimental data, cold ablation process in soft tissues upon short laser pulse irradiation is proposed to include two stages of material ejection: (1) initial ejection of subsurface layer due to the expansion and rupture of cavitation bubbles, (2) delayed ejection of bulk material due to the hydrodynamic motions stimulated by initial crater and also by collapse of large coalesced bubbles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - May 22 1995
Externally publishedYes
EventLaser-Tissue Interaction VI 1995 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Feb 1 1995Feb 8 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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