Molecular operation on elastic fibers and cholesterol ester by a free electron laser

Kunio Awazu, Seiji Ogino, Akio Nagai, Takio Tomimasu, Steven L. Jacques

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A method has been found to selectively ablate cholesterol esters accumulated in an arteriosclerotic region of a rabbit artery without damaging the blood vessel using a free-electron laser (FEL). A FEL is a pulsed laser source that generates a beam by amplifying the coherent radiation emitted by an electron beam that is travelling through a periodically alternating magnetic field at a relativistic velocity. The characteristics of the FEL include a broadly tunable wavelength and ukra-short pulse width. We have found that FEL irradiation of a rabbit arterial wall for 1 min with a power of 1.5 mW can ablate cholesterol esters without damaging the elastic fibers of the arterial wall. The FEL was tuned to 5.75 μm, which is a wavelength that is absorbed by cholesterol ester. This method may be used as a non-invasive surgical procedure for the treatment of arteriosclerotic arteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of Lasers-Tissue Interaction, Tissue Optics and Laser Welding III - San Remo, Italy
Duration: Sep 5 1997Sep 8 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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