Abstract

Like pure water, the water incorporated into cartilage and cornea tissue shows a pronounced dependence of the absorption coefficient on temperature. Alteration of the temperature by radiation with an IR free-electron laser was studied by use of a pulsed photothermal radiometric technique. A computation algorithm was modified to take into account the real IR absorption spectra of the tissue and the spectral sensitivity of the IR detector used. The absorption coefficients for several wavelengths within the 2.9- and 6.1-µm water absorption bands have been determined for various laser pulse energies. It is shown that the absorption coefficient for cartilage decreases at temperatures higher than 50 °C owing to thermal alterations of water-water and water-biopolymer interactions.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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