Abstract

A 193-nm ArF excimer laser transmission was measured at subablative fluence through varying strength solutions of dissolved collagen, yielding an absorption cross section of 1.14 × 10-17 cm2 for the peptide bond, which accounts for 96% of the total collagen attenuation that is based on additional transmission measurements through solutions of isolated constituent amino acids. The measured absorption cross sections, in combination with typical corneal tissue composition, yield a predicted corneal tissue absorption coefficient of 16,000 cm-1. In addition, dry collagen films were prepared and ablation-rate data were recorded as a function of laser fluence. Ablation rates were modeled by use of a Beer-Lambert blow-off model, incorporating a measured ablation threshold and an absorption coefficient that are based on the measured collagen absorption cross section and the film bond density. The measured ablation rates and those predicted by the model were in very good agreement. The experiments suggest that collagen-based absorption coefficients are consistent with predicted corneal tissue ablation rates and previously observed dynamic changes in tissue properties under ablative conditions.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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