Laser surgery is an established clinical procedure in dental applications, soft tissue ablation, and ophthalmology. The presented experimental set-up for closed-loop control of laser bone ablation addresses a feedback system and enables safe ablation towards anatomical structures that usually would have high risk of damage.This study is based on combined working volumes of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and Er:YAG cutting laser. High level of automation in fast image data processing and tissue treatment enables reproducible results and shortens the time in the operating room. For registration of the two coordinate systems a cross-like incision is ablated with the Er:YAG laser and segmented with OCT in three distances. The resulting Er:YAG coordinate system is reconstructed. A parameter list defines multiple sets of laser parameters including discrete and specific ablation rates as ablation model. The control algorithm uses this model to plan corrective laser paths for each set of laser parameters and dynamically adapts the distance of the laser focus. With this iterative control cycle consisting of image processing, path planning, ablation, and moistening of tissue the target geometry and desired depth are approximated until no further corrective laser paths can be set. The achieved depth stays within the tolerances of the parameter set with the smallest ablation rate. Specimen trials with fresh porcine bone have been conducted to prove the functionality of the developed concept. Flat bottom surfaces and sharp edges of the outline without visual signs of thermal damage verify the feasibility of automated, OCT controlled laser bone ablation with minimal process time.
© 2015 SPIEPDF Article