Seminar: “Novel Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications of Lasers in Medicine”, Nathaniel Fried, University of North Carolina
Thursday, July 7, 2011 / 11:00am-12:00pm
Nathaniel Fried, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Optical Science
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The Biomedical Optics Laboratory at UNC-Charlotte is devoted to development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic laser applications in medicine. The lab performs applied, clinically-driven research and provides a bridge between physicists/engineers and doctors. This presentation provides an overview of promising laser technologies for potential treatment or diagnosis of “Quality-of-Life” problems in urology:
(1) Thulium fiber laser vaporization of kidney stones:
The solid-state Holmium:YAG laser (=2120 nm) currently used for lithotripsy is limited by its poor spatial beam profile – the large fibers used may break, damaging endoscopes, and prevent sufficient saline irrigation, compromising visibility and safety. Fiber lasers provide high power coupling into smaller, more flexible fibers for use in latest flexible endoscopes, with improved bending and higher irrigation rates. The thulium fiber laser (=1908 nm) matches a major water absorption peak in tissue, thus providing lower ablation thresholds and more efficient stone ablation than the Holmium laser.
(2) Erbium:YAG laser incision of urethral strictures using mid-infrared optical fibers:
Endoscopic applications of mid-IR lasers have been limited due to the lack of a suitable fiber delivery system. A hybrid germanium oxide/sapphire fiber is a biocompatible, flexible, robust, high-power fiber for endoscopic delivery of Erbium:YAG laser radiation (=2940 nm). The Erbium laser may provide precise, cellular level vaporization of scar tissue in the urinary tract for treatment of incontinence.
(3) Noninvasive laser vasectomy using a Ytterbium fiber laser:
Vasectomy is the most effective, safest, and least expensive method of sterilization. However, due to male fears of incision, bleeding, infection, and pain associated with surgical vasectomy, female sterilization (tubal ligation) remains more popular. Deeply penetrating near-infrared Ytterbium fiber laser radiation (=1075 nm) in conjunction with cryogen spray cooling, can be used to perform noninvasive male sterilization which may increase the popularity of vasectomy.
(4) Optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the prostate nerves:
The cavernous nerves course along the prostate surface and are responsible for sexual function. Surgeons have difficulty identifying and sparing these nerves during prostate cancer surgery. OCT is an ideal technology for high-resolution imaging of these nerves and can easily be integrated into standard laparoscopic and robotic instruments for intra-operative diagnosis.
(5) Infrared laser stimulation of the cavernous nerves:
Optical nerve stimulation (ONS) using pulsed infrared light has recently been developed as an alternative to conventional electrical nerve stimulation. ONS provides several advantages, including non-contact stimulation, increased spatial selectivity, and elimination of stimulation artifacts. Our laboratory is investigating ONS as an intra-operative fiber optic method that complements OCT for identification of the cavernous nerves.
Nathaniel Fried is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Optical Science and Director of the Biomedical Optics Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at Johns Hopkins Medical School, in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Fried received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1998 while working in the area of laser tissue welding. As a joint postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins Medical School, he worked on designing novel laser balloon catheters for use in treating cardiac arrhythmias. From 2000-2006, he was a faculty member in the Department of Urology at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the Director of the Biomedical Optics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Dr. Fried has over 15 years of experience working in the field of laser-tissue interactions and laser medicine. He has been a member of both the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) and the Society of Photo-Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) since 1998, and he currently serves as an editorial board member for the journals, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine and Lasers in Medical Science. Dr. Fried has published over 100 manuscripts, conference proceedings, and book chapters in laser medicine and currently holds several patents in the field. He is the past recipient of three Young Investigator Awards for his research in laser medicine, and he has received extramural research funding from a number of federal agencies (NIH, DOD, DOE, USAID), private foundations (Whitaker, NKF), and industry. In addition to actively performing research in the field of laser medicine, Dr. Fried also currently teaches an undergraduate introductory course in Medical Physics and a graduate course in Biomedical Optics at UNC-Charlotte.
For More Information:
Dr. Eric W. Van Stryland