Ultrafast Imaging of Atherosclerotic Tissue Ablation
The possibility for effective ablation and precise etching of biological tissue with minimal thermal side effects brought excimer lasers into the field of angioplasty. The XeCl excimer laser operating at a wavelength of λ = 308 nm is primarily used for treatment of patients with coronary artery desease. Besides its ability of efficient tissue ablation and removal sufficient energy transmission via optical waveguides is possible. Excimer laser angioplasty and laser-assisted angioplasty have already become a clinical reality. Irrespectively of quite different mechanisms of laser-tissue interaction there is general agreement that a rapid expansion of gaseous ablation products results in an explosive removal of the irradiated material [1, 2, 3]. To achieve a better understanding of the ablation process in a clinical setting the investigations presentend in this paper have been performed by irradiating tissue samples in a saline solution (0.9% NaCl) via an optical fiber.
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