Lasers and medicine

Przemyslaw Deren 

Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research (INTiBS), Okólna 2, Wrocław 50-422, Poland


Light has always been a symbol of goodness and purity. Ancient Egyptians disinfected surgeon tools in flame; cured leukoderma using rays of the Sun. Herodotus in his papers also mentioned positive influence of Sun light on human health.
Old good methods have been forgotten for ages. Beginning of the XXth century brings certain interest in light therapy when sunbath was introduced to cure some dermatosis. The situation changed, however drastically when physicists constructed first LASER. At that moment new possibilities for diagnosis and therapy in medicine appeared, because laser-light had properties that had been never observed before. Neither natural source of light like Sun, nor artificial one like electric bulb produces light so monochromatic, directed and coherent.
Water, hemoglobin, melanin; three main tissue components have their specific absorption. Since laser-light is monochromatic selective impact on tissue components is possible. Because laser light is parallel it is possible to introduce all power of light into a fiberoptic and deliver it to the desired place in the body. Coherentness of laser-light may be significant in wound treatment by week laser radiation.
Physical bases of laser-light impact on human tissue are presented. Laser diagnosis and laser therapy, in particularl:
- proper selection of laser for cutting of tissue,
- Low Level Laser Therapy (bio-stimulation) to improve wounds healing,
- Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) a new method for diagnosis and treatment of tumours and,
-emission properties of sick and health tissue
are reviewed in this lecture.


Presentation: invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2003, Symposium A, by Przemyslaw Deren
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2003

Submitted: 2003-05-13 17:51
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55