Laser-induced shock wave effects on red blood cells

Thomas J Flotte, Joan K. Frisoli, Margaret Goetschkes, Apostolos G. Doukas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


The trend for laser-based medical therapies has been towards short-pulse, high-peak power lasers. A consequence of using these lasers is the production of pressure waves that may propagate deep into tissue. Our previous experiments have concentrated on describing these effects and examining methods for measuring laser-induced shock waves. These two approaches were combined to study the effects of well-defined shock waves on red blood cells in vitro. Red blood cells were exposed to shock waves in capillary tubes covered with either latex or polyimide. The latex was deformed by the expanding plasma bubble whereas the polyimide was not. In the latex experiments where the cells were exposed to the bubble expansion in addition to the shock waves, damage to the cells was much greater. When the cells were exposed only to the shock waves through the polyimide, much less damage was apparent. This is the first clear example of the separation of different mechanical effects on tissue damage. In addition, the shock wave damage is not as significant as the damage caused by the bubble expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsSteven L. Jacques, Abraham Katzir
PublisherPubl by Int Soc for Optical Engineering
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of Laser-Tissue Interaction II - Los Angeles, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 21 1991Jan 23 1991


OtherProceedings of Laser-Tissue Interaction II
CityLos Angeles, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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