Put a non-coherent light source together with a semi-coherent article summary and what do you get? A new way of fighting cancer!
A group of Israeli researchers have shown how to carry out surgery using a non-coherent light source. The device could provide a cheaper and safer alternative to conventional laser surgery (Appl. Phys. Lett. 88 114104).
…In 2002, Jeffrey Gordon and colleagues at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel developed an alternative to laser surgery that focused ordinary sunlight into a narrow optical fibre using a parabolic mirror. The device can provide the same power and flux levels as lasers but solar surgery is of limited practical value because some countries are sunnier than others.
The team has now achieved similar results using light from commercially available short-arc discharge lamps — a system that does not rely on the presence of sunlight. The set-up uses two mirrors to concentrate the light and a third to “recycle” light emissions…
The device has a number of advantages over lasers — one is that its output contains visible wavelengths, which can penetrate more deeply into tissue than the infrared or ultraviolet radiation from lasers. Another bonus is cost: Gordon says that the system can destroy as much tissue per unit of energy as a laser, but is at least ten times cheaper. The device is also safer than conventional laser systems because the light can be seen, in contrast to lasers that operate outside visible wavelengths.
We’re still getting over the line about how solar surgery’s appeal was limited because “some countries are sunnier than others.” That’s true, yes, but it’s also worth noting most operating rooms are not exactly open to the elements.
Still, we’re glad the research team is no longer reliant on the sun, which has caused far more cancer than it will ever cure. And we’re psyched to see visible-light beams in the OR — they’re safer, penetrate deeper, and have a much bigger ‘wow’ factor than invisible beams.
More from Applied Physics Letters…