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Keywords:

  • osseous tissue;
  • laser ablation;
  • osteotomy

Abstract

Background and Objective

Few studies have investigated femtosecond (fs) lasers for cutting bone tissue.

Study Design/Materials and Methods

A 775 nm, 1 kHz, 200 femtosecond, up to 400 µJ laser system was used to irradiate in vitro calcified cortical bone samples and bone tissue culture samples.

Results

The ablation threshold in cortical bone was 0.69±0.08 J/cm2 at 775 nm and 0.19±0.05 J/cm2 at 387 nm. Plasma shielding experiments determined that the ablation plume and the plasma significantly affect material removal at high repetition rates and appear to generate thermal transients in calcified tissue. Confocal analysis revealed intact enzymatic activity on the surface of cells immediately adjacent to cells removed by fs laser irradiation.

Conclusions

These experiments demonstrate that fs lasers used for bone tissue cutting do not appear to generate significant temperature transients to inactivate proteins and that cellular membrane integrity is disrupted for only a few cell layers. Lasers Surg. Med. 39:273–285, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.