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    OCT could assist in laser tissue bonding of corneal incisions

    A laser tissue bonding apparatus integrated with an optical coherence tomography (OCT) probe is a plausible instrument that allows for temperature-controlled laser bonding of incisions in the cornea, according to Israeli researchers. The OCT probe can provide real-time feedback of structural change of the corneal tissue, and indicate the progress and end point of the bonding.

    Reporting in The International Society for Optics and Photonics’ Proceedings of SPIE, the researchers noted that laser tissue bonding offers several desirable attributes compared to suturing, including water-tight closure, non-contact application, reduced scarring, and faster healing.

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    The researchers added that when a corneal incision is made and then sutured, substantial surgical ability is needed to ensure that the shape of the cornea is not changed at the end of the healing process. Such unplanned geometric changes in the shape of the cornea may cause significant reductions in patients’ visual acuity.

    The researchers performed a bond strength experiment on 51 freshly enucleated bovine eyes, using a temperature-controlled laser bonding system, and analyzed both the rate of successful bonding and the burst strength of the successful bonds.

    They found that the bond strength of the successful operations peaked at 80°C. They also noted that the bond strength showed a steady increase as a function of the operating temperature. This decreased slightly at very high temperatures, although this decrease was usually irrelevant because of high thermal damage. “This means that although the procedure fidelity decreases as we increase the temperature past the peak, the incisions which are successfully joined using higher temperatures do display a stronger bond in comparison to those which succeeded in the ‘optimal’ setting,” the researchers wrote.

    The researchers then conducted an experiment on 40 freshly enucleated bovine eyes to assess the thermal effects of laser tissue bonding on the corneal tissue using OCT imaging, histological section evaluations, and tensile strength measurements.

    Next: Change of tissue structure

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