Skin welding using pulsed laser radiation and a dye

Nathaniel M. Fried*, Joseph T. Walsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Previous skin welding studies have used continuous wave (CW) delivery of radiation. However, heat diffusion during irradiation prevents strong welds from being achieved without creating large zones of thermal damage to surrounding tissue. This damage may prevent normal wound healing. Strong welds and minimal thermal damage can be achieved by introducing a dye and delivering the radiation in a pulsed mode. Two-cm-long, full-thickness incisions were made in guinea pig skin. India ink was used as an absorber, and egg white albumin was used as an adhesive. A 5-mm-diameter spot of CW, 1.06-μm Nd:YAG laser radiation was scanned over the weld site, producing 100 millisecond pulses. The cooling time between scans and number of scans was varied. Thermal damage zones were measured using a transmission polarizing microscope to identify birefringence changes in tissue. Tensile strengths were measured using a tensiometer. For pulsed welding and long cooling times, weld strengths of 2.4 kg/cm2 were measured, and thermal damage to the epidermis was limited to ∼ 500 μm. With CW welding, comparable weld strengths resulted in ∼ 2700 μm of thermal damage. CW laser radiation weld strengths were only 0.6 kg/cm2 when thermal damage in the epidermis was limited to ∼ 500 μm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventLasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems VIII - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 1998Jan 25 1998


  • Collagen denaturation
  • Infrared radiation
  • Skin closure

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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