Ophthalmic applications of femtosecond lasers

Ron Kurtz, G. J.R. Spooner, Karin Sletten, Kim Yen, Samir Sayegh, Frieder Loesel, Christopher Horvath, Hsiao hua Liu, Victor Elner, Delia Cabrera, Marie Helene Meunier, Zachary Sacks, Tibor Juhasz, Doug L. Miller, A. Roy Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We investigated three potential femtosecond laser ophthalmic procedures: intrastromal refractive surgery, transcleral photodisruptive glaucoma surgery and photodisruptive ultrasonic lens surgery. A highly reliable, all-solid-state system was used to investigate tissue effects and demonstrate clinical practicality. Compared with longer duration pulses, femtosecond laser-tissue interactions are characterized by smaller and more deterministic photodisruptive energy thresholds, smaller shock wave and cavitation bubble sizes. Scanning a 5 μ spot below the target tissue surface produced contiguous tissue effects. Various scanning patterns were used to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and stability of three intrastromal refractive procedures in animal eyes: corneal flap cutting, keratomileusis, and intrastromal vision correction (IVC). Superior dissection and surface quality results were obtained for the lamellar procedures. IVC in rabbits revealed consistent, stable pachymetric changes, without significant inflammation or corneal transparency degradation. Transcleral photodisruption was evaluated as a noninvasive method for creating partial thickness scleral channels to reduce elevated intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma. Photodisruption at the internal scleral surface was demonstrated by focusing through tissue in vitro without collateral damage. Femtosecond photodisruptions nucleated ultrasonically driven cavitation to demonstrate non-invasive destruction of in vitro lens tissue. We conclude that femtosecond lasers may enable practical novel ophthalmic procedures, offering advantages over current techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 Commercial and Biomedical Applications of Ultrafast Lasers - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 28 1999Jan 29 1999

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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