Russian Scientists Create Ceramic-based Laser Scalpel

PHOTO by Alexandr Kryazhev / RIA Novosti

A group of scientists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences together with IRE-Polus have created a compact ceramic-based laser, to be used as a low-trauma scalpel.

“Ceramics is a promising type of medium for lasers as it is cheaper and easier than single crystals to produce. Moreover, the chemical composition is easily changed by changing the properties of the laser,” the scientists stated in the Open Journal, where the research was published.

The team created a laser capable of converting energy into radiation with an efficiency of over 50 percent, significantly more than other solid-state laser emitters. It also generates laser light at a fast rate, making it suitable for use in medical operations.

“Radiation of the most common lasers have low absorption and penetrate deeply into biological tissue, which leads to coagulation of blood and tissue, as well as to the emergence of significant areas of “dead” tissue. A surgical scalpel should work at a specific depth, so 2-micron lasers are often used as they do not damage the underlying tissue,” the group added.

“The ceramics laser has significant competitive advantages. It’s cheaper, simpler and more reliable. It’s about four times as small as holmium lasers. It will be a good choice for surgeons.” Ivan Obronov from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, one of the authors of the research said.