By Mark Slutzki, Product Manager, Ophir Photonics
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 (Fig. 1), 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.