Nowadays the use of laser systems in medicine is not a new field of application, they are generally employed for diagnosis of different diseases, in burn scar treatment, bioimaging, dental science, and various surgical procedures. Laser applications are not limited and they continue developing.
Thus, new research made by a group of scientists from the USA demonstrates that laser systems are able to make fluid containing blood cells acting as an optical fiber cable under certain conditions enabling to save the laser beam focus and make it shine through freely.
Fiber laser systems can find new applications in medical diagnostic techniques that use the advantages of blood cells properties. These laser systems can be used for noninvasive imaging through the tissue upon the condition of the laser beam is able to provide deep penetration.
It should be mentioned that the application of laser systems for medical imaging, where getting light from the laser beam to support its shape and power over a distance plays a crucial role in making a precise diagnosis, is highly promising today all over the world.
The group of scientists conducts an experiment to prove their suggestions. They use a green laser system, shine its laser beam into a 3-cm-long vial filled with a suspension of human red blood cells. At the moment, when the laser power is increased, more light passes through the vial.
At the next level, the scientists employ a special device called an optical tweezer that allows measuring the optical forces acting on individual blood cells. Due to advanced technologies, it is possible to demonstrate the principle of laser system operation that is based on the fiber laser that attracts cells into the laser beam and pushes them along the beam’s path.
Moreover, the principle of operation resembles the way that a lens focuses light by changing its path, while blood cells focus the laser beam and help it to penetrate deeper into the blood. Consequently, it is similar to an optical fiber cable that sends the light in a single direction.
Also, it should be noted that this effect depends on the shape of blood cells. The thing is that red cells have the shape of a disc, however, they may shrivel or swell depending on the amount of salt. Nevertheless, Such a laser system can find a potential application in diagnosis such diseases as sickle cell anemia and malaria.
Of course, this research requires numerous improvements before it can be applied in a medical context. For example, it is necessary to optimize the high-quality laser beam for the use in human tissues. At the same time, the laser system will be highly helpful in medical diagnostics and open new possibilities in deep-tissue imaging.
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