Pulsed CO2 Laser Ablation of Tissue: Effect of Mechanical Properties

Joseph T. Walsh, Thomas F. Deutsch, Joseph T. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations


The ablation rate of guinea pig skin and bovine aorta, myocardium, and liver by a CO2 laser emitting 2-μs-long pulses was quantified. Ablation efficiency was found to be strongly dependent upon the ultimate tensile strength of the tissue; the ablation efficiency of liver is seven times that of skin. Gluteraldehyde cross linking of skin, which is known to greatly increase tissue stiffness but not significantly affect ultimate tensile strength, did not change the ablation rate. The water content of the tissues, which largely determines the optical and thermal properties, was measured and found to vary only slightly. The results demonstrate that tissue mechanical properties are important in the interpretation and modeling of pulsed laser ablation of tissue and that variations in these mechanical properties can lead to drastically different cutting rates for different tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1201
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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