Because a laser beam provides a vehicle for delivering energy in such a precisely controlled way, and without physical contact, it’s not surprising that the laser has found so much use in medical applications. It’s used as a surgical tool, cutting through various types of tissue in place of the traditional scalpel, and simultaneously cauterizing blood vessels as it goes, so that bleeding is minimized.
In some ophthalmological applications, an Excimer laser beam cuts tissue using non-thermal mechanisms based on the physical nature of short wavelength UV radiation. It is also used as a production tool for manufacturing medical components, for example cutting and welding of implants, soldering of battery leads in pacemakers, and so on.
Just as with any precision industrial process, where the results must be tightly controlled and completely predictable, laser-based medical processes must also be controlled and predictable. Not only for the obvious reasons of quality and profitability; with medical applications, there are also potential risks – direct or indirect - to patients.
For over 40 years, medical manufacturers worldwide have been choosing Ophir Photonics as their partners for measurement solutions. Ophir power and energy meters, and beam profilers, are in common use at many levels:
- In R&D and Engineering environments in which laser-based medical systems and processes are developed
- At Quality Control stations at the end of production lines
- In Field Service engineer’s tool kits
- Integrated inside medical systems as customized OEM components