Ex vivo evaluation of femtosecond pulse laser incision of urinary tract tissue in a liquid environment: Implications for endoscopic treatment of benign ureteral strictures

Authors


  • Jun-Hao Liang and Jian Kang contributed equally to this study.

Abstract

Background

The femtosecond (FS) pulse laser incises soft tissues with minimal peripheral damage and is a promising cutting tool for ureteroscopic endoureterotomy of benign ureteral strictures.

Objective

To evaluate the feasibility of applying the FS laser to ureteroscopic endoureterotomy.

Materials and Methods

A commercial Ti:Sapphire regenerative amplifier system (Coherent, RegA 9050, USA) was used in this study. Normal saline, 5% glucose solution, 4% mannitol solution, distilled water, and a 1% (v/v) suspension of whole blood with each of these solutions were tested for their attenuation rate (AR) of the FS laser's power. Bladder specimens from Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats were used as a surrogate model. The laser incised slots of 2 mm in length at bladder samples using three power grades (5×, 10×, and 20× the threshold power) combined with five effective pulse rates (40, 20, 10, 5, and 2.5 kHz), both in air and in normal saline. After samples were processed with standard hematoxylin–eosin staining procedures, the incision depth and collateral damage range were determined microscopically.

Results

The ARs of blood suspensions with each of the three isosmotic solutions were significantly higher than the other five solutions (P < 0.001). The FS laser's cutting depth and the collateral damage were increased with the laser power or power density but the collateral damages were less than 100 µm. Microbubble formation was detected in the liquid environments tested and influenced the effective laser power.

Conclusions

Endoscopic application of the FS laser is feasible. Microbubble formation with the laser incision, however, may influence cutting effects. Proposed methods to address these issues include increasing the irrigation rate, using distilled water as irrigation or using gas insufflation instead of irrigation. It is necessary to evaluate these methods, as well as the long-term biologic response to laser incision, on living animal models in endoscopic settings before use on humans. Lasers Surg. Med. 43:516–521, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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