The Use Of Lasers In Biomedicine Biology Essay

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A Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)is defined as a source of high-intensity optical, infrared, or ultraviolet radiation produced as a result of stimulated emission maintained within a solid, liquid, or gaseous medium. The photons involved in the emission process all have the same energy and phase so that the laser beam is monochromatic and coherent, allowing it to be brought to a fine focus.[1]

Previous Work

There are many articles and literature on the use of Lasers in biomedicine especially in the use of lasers in cataract and laser eye surgery, an example of this is the book by C. Fotakis, T.Papazoglou and C.Kalpouzos Titled "Optics and Lasers in Biomedicine and Culture" They go in to a lot of detail about the different types of lasers and how they are used in laser eye surgery and the removal of cataract.

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There is also Prior work available on the use of lasers in Diagnostics and Medicine again an example of this is a report compiled by Shreya Raghavan titled "Laser and it's applications in medical surgery and diagnostics" which states the uses of lasers in Infra-red imaging, surgery and eye- defects, However beyond this there is not much information available in specifically the use of laser in diagnostics, It is my intention to look further into this and develop the idea.

Aims and Objectives

The objective of the project is to fill a gap as there is no such academic literature which looks into the application of lasers in the biology and energy sectors in the U.K. The aims of the project are to look into:

The use of lasers in biology and medical sector in the U.K

This will initially start with looking at the general use of lasers in a wide range of biological and medical applications. Then focus on applications of lasers in the manufacturing of stents. Also look into the use of lasers in medical diagnostics.

The use of lasers in the energy sector in the U.K

This will initially start with looking at the general use of lasers in a wide range of biological and medical applications. Then focus on applications of lasers in the manufacturing of Solar Cells

To compare the U.K and European and American markets

This will be achieved through research via books, journals, internet (specifically science based search engines such as Wolfram and web of science). And looking at and reviewing past work and literature. also by using a Key word Search engine analysis to see market influence.

Key words

Lasers in medicine

Lasers in cataract surgery

The lens of the eye helps to focus light onto the retina. The lens is a small clear structure which sits just behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye). It is held in place by a sack of clear tissue called the lens capsule. Usually the lens and the capsule are both clear allowing light to pass directly through them.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens and normally occurs as part of the ageing process. When the lens has a cataract then the light does not pass smoothly through it resulting in poor, blurred vision.

Cataracts are removed by surgery. During the operation the natural lens of the eye is replaced by an artificial lens. This artificial lens is held in place by the same structure, the lens capsule, which held your natural lens. Most people have a good level of sight following the operation.

Clouding of sight after surgery

Within a few months, sometimes years, following the cataract operation people can start to have difficulties with their vision again.

Sight can become blurred or people can have problems with bright lights and glare. It is almost as though the cataract is coming back. However this is not a re-growth of the cataract but is due to a thickening of the back of the lens capsule. Medically this is known as posterior lens capsule opacification.

About the posterior lens capsule

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The artificial lens is placed in the lens capsule which held your natural lens in place. This capsule is made of very thin clear tissue. In some people this capsule thickens after the cataract operation. Sometimes this happens within a few months of the operation but it is more likely to occur a number of years afterwards.

Thickening of the capsule

The capsule thickens because sometimes lens cells grow across the back of the artificial lens. These cells are the natural lens cells which can sometimes be left behind following the surgery. The younger you are the more likely these cells are to grow.

This causes problems with the light entering the eye and therefore problems with your vision.

Treatment

Usually the posterior lens capsule opacification can be dealt with quite simply. Using a laser the doctor can make a hole in part of the capsule so that the light can once again pass directly to the back of the eye. This can improve vision in the vast majority of cases. The procedure is called YAG laser capsulotomy. YAG is the type of laser used for the surgery.

How laser surgery works

Lasers are beams of energy which can be targeted very accurately. The YAG laser is a focused laser with very low energy levels which can be used to cut structures inside the eye without any risk to the other parts of the eye. The doctor aims the laser exactly onto the posterior lens capsule in order to cut away a small circle shaped area.

This leaves some of the capsule to keep the lens in place (like a cuff around the lens) but removes enough to allow the light to pass directly through the eye to the retina. The very small part of the lens capsule which is cut away falls harmlessly to the bottom of the inside of the eye.

The procedure is quick and painless. It is usually done in an outpatient clinic and normally takes about fifteen minutes the actual laser part of the procedure may only take five minutes.

In most cases the doctor will use an eye drop to dilate your pupil before the treatment. This may make vision more blurry. Sometimes but not always the doctor may use a contact lens to stabilize the eye, if the doctor decides this is necessary then they will also use a drop to anaesthetise (numb) the front of your eye. If no contact lens is used then the eye isn't always anaesthetised.

Once your pupil is dilated you will have to place your head on the headrest of the laser machine to help keep your eye still. Then the doctor uses the laser to remove part of the capsule. The laser uses a wavelength that cannot be seen, but there is a light which you may notice that helps the doctor see what they are doing. Each laser shot is over in a fraction of a second and you shouldn't feel anything but you may notice a few flashing lights as the laser is fired and you may hear some faint clicks as the laser is working.[1].

Lasers in vision correction

Lasers in dermatology

Lasers in Cosmetic treatment

Lasers in diagnostics

Lasers in therapeutics

Lasers in Stent Manufacture

Different types of lasers used in Biomedicine sector

Laser in Energy Sector

Lasers in isotope separation

lasers in laser induced nuclear fission

Lasers in Solar cell manufacture

Market Analysis

Initial work

During the initial work done on market analysis of Medical lasers it was found that the global market for medical lasers was worth approximately $2.7 billion in 2008. This market declined to less than $2.3 billion in 2009 under the impact of the recession in many of the world's major economies, it is projected to grow to nearly $4.8 billion between 2009 and 2014, at a CAGR of 16.1% over the 5-year period. Therapeutic laser applications market was nearly $2.3 billion in 2008; this further decreased to $1.9 billion in 2009, this is projected to reach $3.7 billion in 2014, for a 5-year CAGR of 13.3%. Diagnostic application market was $330 million in 2008; this further decreased to $328 million in 2009, this is projected to reach $1.2 billion in 2014, for a 5-year CAGR of 28.9%.[2]

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This is shown in the figure below:

Figure 1.1

Biggest players

The biggest companies in medical laser systems are listed below:

Alcon, Inc (USA)

Bausch & Lomb Incorporated (USA)

BIOLASE Technology Inc (USA)

Biolitec AG (Germany)

Candela Corporation (USA)

Cardiogenesis Corporation (USA)

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (Germany)

Coherent Inc (USA)

Cutera, Inc. (USA)

Diomed, Inc. (USA)

Dornier Medtech GmbH (Germany)

EL.EN. SpA (Italy)

Cynosure, Inc. (USA)

Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (Australia)

Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. (USA)

IRIDEX Corporation (USA)

Laserscope (USA)

LaserSight Technologies, Inc. (USA)

Lumenis Ltd (Israel)

Lynton Lasers Ltd (UK)

Nidek Co Ltd (Japan)

Palomar Medical Technologies, Inc. (USA)

PhotoMedex, Inc. (USA)

PLC Medical Systems Inc. (USA)

Radiancy Inc (USA)

Spectranetics Corporation (USA)

Syneron Medical Ltd (Israel)

Trimedyne Inc (USA)

VISX Inc (USA)

WaveLight AG (Germany)[3]

A Pie chart Analysis is shown below of the Geographical location of the biggest players in medical lasers

key Word Analysis

when researching for Laser market values, and in particular medical laser systems market shares and values it was not possible to find right market values. there is very little prior work in this area available on the internet and journals and books. There are some very specialised reports available online however they require to be purchased at very high costs ranging from $3000-$4000. an example of this is the research paper titled "Medical Laser Systems - A Global Update of Market Trends & Opportunities" which costs €3053.00 to gain access to the paper.

This is why it was decided to look at Market influence rather than market share of Different Medical laser applications. This is to be done using a keyword search engine analysis, A key word is defined then this key word is input into Popular search engines e.g google. The number of results returned are taken as an indicator of market influence. The key word analysis is undertaken in the same search engine for three different countries, U.K, U.S.A and Germany. germany was chosen out of Europe because it would take a long time to compare each country out of europe as the search engines do not give a search option for europe as a whole. The reason germany is chosen is because as it can be seen from the pie chart above it has the biggest market share in europe.

The 2 main search engine s that were chosen Are Google and Yahoo this is because they are the 2 biggest search engines at the moment and the market leaders. the table below shows their key features and differences.

Search Engine

Google

Yahoo

Size

Size not disclosed, Assumed to be the biggest

Claims over 20 billion total "web objects."

Features

PageRankâ„¢ system includes hundreds of factors, emphasizing pages most heavily linked from other pages.

Many additional databases including Book Search, Scholar (journal articles), Blog Search, Patents, Images, etc.

Shortcuts give quick access to dictionary, synonyms, patents, traffic, stocks, encyclopedia, and more.

Phase Searching

Enclose phrase in "double quotes".

Enclose phrase in "double quotes".

Sub searching

The search box at the top of the results page shows your current search. Modify this (e.g., add more terms at the end.)

The search box at the top of the results page shows your current search. Modify this (e.g., add more terms at the end.)

Results Ranking

Based on page popularity measured in links to it from other pages: high rank if a lot of other pages link to it.

Fuzzy AND In ranking of results, documents with all terms (Boolean AND) are ranked first, followed by documents containing any terms (Boolean OR) are retrieved. The farther down, the fewer the terms, although at least one should always be present).also invoked.

Matching and ranking based on "cached" version of pages that may not be the most recent version.

Fuzzy AND: In ranking of results, documents with all terms (Boolean AND) are ranked first, followed by documents containing any terms (Boolean OR) are retrieved. The farther down, the fewer the terms, although at least one should always be present.

Language

Major Romanized and non-Romanized languages in Advanced Search.

Major Romanized and non-Romanized languages in Advanced Search.

Translation

Yes, in "Translate this page" link following some pages. To and sometimes from English and major European languages and Chinese, Japanese, Korean. Ues its own translation software with user feedback.

Available as a separate service.

Lasers in medicine

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

87,300

56,000

1,370,000

Number of results

551,000

305,000

4,880,000

Table 1.1

The above table and graphs show that Yahoo has returned a lot more results than google, However the overall trend is the same, this can be seen when comparing the graphs of the two search engines. The Market of Medical lasers has very heavy influence in the U.S.A. Alot further behind is the U.K and then Germany

Lasers in cataract surgery

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

33,400

20,100

425,000

Number of results

97,300

21,900

337,000

Lasers In Vision Correction

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

27,400

25,900

839,000

Number of results

36,600

28,700

602,000

Lasers in dermatology

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

39,800

22,300

781,000

Number of results

36,600

28,700

602,000

Lasers in Cosmetic Treatment

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

39,800

22,300

781,000

Number of results

213,000

50,500

1,700,000

Lasers in Diagnostics

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

39,800

22,300

781,000

Number of results

302,000

249,000

3,650,000

Lasers In Therapeutics

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

26,100

21,500

436,000

Number of results

30,100

16,100

29,500

Lasers In Stent Manufacture

Google U.K

Google Germany

Google U.S.A

Yahoo U.K

Yahoo Germany

Yahoo U.S.A

Number of results

4,030

5740

57,900

Number of results

7,260

2,090

59,800