Laser surgical effects with concentrated solar radiation Academic Article uri icon


  • Surgical tissue transformations normally produced with lasers are demonstrated experimentally with highly concentrated sunlight. Our solar surgery prototype decouples the collection and delivery of high-density photon flux: a compact (200 mm) optical system outdoors, with several watts of concentrated solar radiation transported into the operating theater by a flexible, high-transmissivity optical fiber up to 20 m long, at power densities typical of surgical lasers. Measurements of the rates of tissue coagulation, dehydration, and ablation generated with solar surgery on chicken breast are consistent with the corresponding rates produced by common visible and near-infrared surgical lasers. Solar surgery offers an inexpensive alternative to surgical lasers, albeit with limitations on feasible locations and operating periods.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002