The penetration depth of light plays a crucial role in therapeutic medical applications. In order to design effective medical photonic devices, an in-depth understanding of light's ability to penetrate tissues (including bone, skin, and fat) is necessary. The amount of light energy absorbed or scattered by tissues affects the intensity of light reaching an intended target in vivo. In this study, we examine the transmittance of light through a variety of cranial tissues for the purpose of determining the efficacy of neuro stimulation using a transcranial laser. Tissue samples collected from a pig were irradiated with a pulsed laser. We first determine the optimal irradiation wavelength of the laser to be 808nm. With varying peak and average power of the laser, we found an inverse and logarithmic relationship between the penetration depth and the intensity of the light. After penetrating the skin and skull of the pig, the light decreases in intensity at a rate of approximately 90.8 (±0.4) percent for every 5 mm of brain tissue penetrated. We also found the correlation between the irradiation time and dosage, using three different lasers (with peak power of 500, 1000, and 1500mW respectively). These data will help deduce what laser power is required to achieve a clinically-realistic model for a given irradiation time. This work is fundamental and the experimental data can be used to supplement existing and future research on the effects of laser light on brain tissue for the design of medical devices.

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Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXVII
Department of Biology

Aulakh, K. (Kavleen), Zakaib, S. (Scott), Willmore, W, & Ye, W.N. (2016). Transcranial light-tissue interaction analysis. In Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE. doi:10.1117/12.2212831