Imaging techniques for research and education of thermal and mechanical interactions of lasers with biological and model tissues

Rudolf M. Verdaasdonk*, Christiaan F.P. Van Swol, Matthijs C.M. Grimbergen, Alex I. Rem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A setup based on color Schlieren techniques has been developed to study the interaction of energy sources, such as lasers, with biological tissues. This imaging technique enables real-time visualization of dynamic temperature gradients with high spatial and temporal resolution within a transparent tissue model. High-speed imaging techniques were combined in the setup to capture mechanical phenomena such as explosive vapor, cavitation bubbles, and shock waves. The imaging technique is especially used for qualitative studies because it is complex to obtain quantitative data by relating the colors in the images to temperatures. By positioning thermocouples in the field of view, temperature figures can be added in the image for correlation to colored areas induced by the temperature gradients. The color Schlieren setup was successfully used for various studies to obtain a better understanding of interaction of various laser, rf, and ultrasound devices used in medicine. The results contributed to the safety and the optimal settings of various medical treatments. Although the interaction of energy sources is simulated in model tissue, the video clips have proven to be of great value for educating researchers, surgeons, nurses, and students to obtain a better understanding of the mechanism of action during patient treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041110
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

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