Thursday, 20 April 2017

laser applications in medical field

By Ask Biomedical
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation".

Medical Applications:
Laser medicine consists in the use of lasers in medical diagnosis, treatments, or therapies, such as laser photodynamic therapy.

There is a wide range of medical applications. Often these relate to the outer parts of the human body, which are easily reached with light; examples are eye surgery and vision correction (LASIK), dentistry, dermatology (e.g. photodynamic therapy of cancer), and various kinds of cosmetic treatment such as tattoo removal and hair removal.

Lasers are also used for surgery (e.g. of the prostate), exploiting the possibility to cut tissues while causing minimal bleeding. Some operations can be done with endoscopic means; an endoscope may contain an optical fiber for delivering light light to the operation scene and another fiber for imaging, apart from additional channels for mechanical instruments.

Very different types of lasers are required for medical applications, depending on the optical wavelength, output power, pulse format, etc. In many cases, the laser wavelength is chosen such that certain substances (e.g. pigments in tattoos or caries in teeth) absorb light more strongly than surrounding tissue, so that they can be more precisely targeted.

Medical lasers are not always used for therapy. Some of them rather assist the diagnosis, e.g. via methods of ocular imaging, laser microscopy or spectroscopy (see below).

Types of lasers used:
  1. CO2 lasers
  2. diode lasers
  3. dye lasers
  4. excimer lasers
  5. fiber lasers
  6. gas lasers
  7. free electron lasers
  8.semiconductor diode lasers

Major areas :
Medical areas that employ lasers include:

angioplasty cancer diagnosis cancer treatment
cosmetic dermatology such as scar revision, skin resurfacing, laser hair removal, tattoo removal dermatology,to treat melanoma

Microscopy (Biology):
Laser microscopes and setups for optical coherence tomography (OCT) provide images of, e.g., biological samples with very high resolution, often in three dimensions. It is also possible to realize functional imaging.


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