Wet bone ablation with mechanically Q-switched high-repetition-rate CO2 laser
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laser using a miniature water spray is demonstrated. An ablation threshold of 1.4 J/cm2, an optimal energy density of 9–10 J/cm2, and a corresponding specific ablation energy of 25–30 J/mm3 are found for pig thighbone compacta at λ=9.57 μm and a beam waist diameter of 0.5 mm. The water spray alleviates tissue carbonization even at high laser pulse repetition rates and increases ablation efficiency.
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