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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A special irrigation liquid to increase the reliability of laser-induced shockwave lithotripsy.

For the laser-induced shockwave lithotripsy (LISL) the laser-pulses of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser produce an optical breakdown in the irrigation liquid surrounding the urinary stone. Subsequently high-pressure shockwaves are emitted causing stone fragmentation. Since the LISL is an endoscopic technique, problems arise from the transmission of the laser pulses through optical fibers. The intensity threshold for an optical breakdown in commonly used saline solution amounts to 21 GW/cm2, in optical silica fibers, to about 3 GW/cm2. Therefore bare fibers cannot be used without being destroyed by a breakdown. So we have developed an irrigation liquid by adding small quantities of metal ions to saline solution to lower the threshold intensity. The most suitable ion was Fe3+ in a concentration of 0.02 mmol/l, which shows a lowering to 5 GW/cm2. In combination with a spherically shaped fiber exit the intensities that have to be transmitted are below the threshold of the fiber material. Using this irrigation liquid the overall reliability of the method could be significantly increased and several stone fragmentations can be performed with a single optical fiber.[1]


  1. A special irrigation liquid to increase the reliability of laser-induced shockwave lithotripsy. Reichel, E., Paltauf, G., Schmidt-Kloiber, H., Groke, K. Lasers in surgery and medicine. (1992) [Pubmed]
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