The Thulium Fiber Laser (TFL) has been studied as a potential alternative to the conventional Holmium:YAG laser (Ho:YAG) for the treatment of kidney stones. The TFL is more ideally suited for laser lithotripsy because of the higher absorption coefficient of the emitted wavelength in water, the superior Gaussian profile of the laser beam, and the ability to operate at arbitrary temporal pulse profiles. The higher absorption of the TFL by water helps translate into higher ablation of urinary stones using less energy. The Gaussian spatial beam profile allows the TFL to couple into fibers much smaller than those currently being used for Ho:YAG lithotripsy. Lastly, the ability of arbitrary pulse operation by the TFL allows energy to be delivered to the stone efficiently so as to avoid negative effects (such as burning or bouncing of the stone) while maximizing ablation. Along with these improvements, the unique properties of the TFL have led to more novel techniques that have currently not been used in the clinic, such as the ability to control the movement of stones based on the manner in which the laser energy is delivered. Lastly, the TFL has led to the development of novel fibers, such as the tapered fiber and removable tip fiber, to be used for lithotripsy which can lead to safer and less expensive treatment of urinary stones. Overall, the TFL has been demonstrated as a viable alternative to the conventional Ho:YAG laser and has the potential to advance methods and tools for treatment of kidney stones.
|Advisor:||Fried, Nathaniel M.|
|Commitee:||Conrad, James, Gbur, Gregory, Jofre, Ana, Trammell, Susan|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Charlotte|
|Department:||Optical Science and Engineering (PhD)|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biomedical engineering, Optics|
|Keywords:||Ablation, Fiber lasers, Holmium, Lithotripsy, Thulium, Urinary stones, Vaporization|
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