Femtosecond laser threshold: Retinal damage versus induced breakdown mechanisms

C. P. Cain, Cynthia A. Toth, Cindy D. Stein, Gary D. Noojin, David J. Stolarski, Ben A. Rockwell, Stephen A. Boppart, W. P. Roach

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Threshold measurements at 90 femtoseconds (fs) and 600 fs have been made for minimum visible lesions (MVLs) using Dutch Belted rabbit and Rhesus monkey eyes.' Laser induced breakdown (LIB) thresholds on biological materials including vitreous, normal saline, tap water, and ultrapure water are reported along with irradiance calculations utilizing nonlinear transmission properties including selffocusing. At both pulsewidths the ED50 dose required for the Rhesus monkey eye was less than half the value determined for the Dutch Belted rabbit eye, all thresholds being 1 microjoule (iJ) or less. Measurements on the Rhesus eye at 600 fs found the ED50 dose (0.26 jiJ) to be much lower than the ED50 dose at 90 fs (0.43 iJ). But for these two pulsewidths, almost the same energy level was determined for the Dutch Belted rabbit eye (0.94 j.tJ vs 1 .0 jiJ). LIB threshold measurements at 100 fs and 300 fs using a simulated eye with isolated vitreous found the ED50 dosages to be 3.5 and 6.0 jiJ respectively. We found in all cases that the ED50 dosages required to produce MVLs in 24 hours for rabbit and monkey eyes were less than the ED50 values measured for LIB in vitreous or saline or any other breakdown values reported. Also observed was the fact that many of the threshold lesions did not appear in the 1-hour postexposure check but clearly showed up at the 24-hour reading which provided for a much lower threshold dose after 24 hours. We discuss the energy levels and peak powers at which nonlinear effects can begin to occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Aug 17 1994
Externally publishedYes
EventLaser-Tissue Interaction V; and Ultraviolet Radiation Hazards 1994 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Jan 23 1994Jan 29 1994

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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