Selective Thermal Effects with Pulsed Irradiation from Lasers: From Organ to Organelle

Parrish, John A.; Anderson, R. Box; Harrist, Terrance; Paul, Barry; Murphy, George F.
June 1983
Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Jun83 Supplement, Vol. 80, p75s
Academic Journal
Specific damage by selectively absorbed, pulsed lasers can be predicted based on physical models. Thermally mediated alterations can be confined to pigmented targets from the level of subcellular organelles (e.g., melanosomes) to large multicellular tissue structures (e.g., blood vessels) by the appropriate manipulation of wave-length and pulse duration. Highly selective damage to human cutaneous microvessels in vivo is shown to occur after 0.3-μs 577-nm dye laser pulses; the epidermis and dermal structures other than vessels are spared. Observations in an animal model suggest that hemorrhage or, at lower doses, selective intravascular coagulation and permanent microvascular hemostasis occur. Highly selective damage to melanized cells and to single melanosomes in situ was shown to occur after single 20-ns 351-nm pulses from a XeF excimer laser, Basal-cell- and melanocyte-specific necrosis is followed by gross hypopigmentation. In this case there is no evidence of vascular damage. The most likely modes of selective alterations include localized thermal denaturation, vaporization, and shock-wave generation. Means of predicting and controlling histologically selective radiant heating effects in skin are suggested.


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