Visualizing mechanical stress and liquid flow during laser lithotripsy

Ilja Reinten*, Rudolf Verdaasdonk, Albert van der Veen, John Klaessens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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The mechanism of action of the holmium laser lithotripsy is attributed to explosive expanding and imploding vapor bubbles in association with high-speed water jets creating high mechanical stress and cracking the stone surface. A good understanding of this mechanism will contribute to the improvement and the safety of clinical treatments. A new method has been developed to visualize the dynamics of mechanical effects and fluid flow induced by Holmium laser pulses around the fiber tip and the stone surface. The fiber tip was positioned near the surface of a stone on a slab of polyacrylamide gel submerged in water. The effects were captured with high speed imaging at 2000-10000 f/s. The dynamics of the pressure wave after the pulse could be visualized by observing the optical deformation of a fine line pattern in the background of the water container using digital subtraction software. This imaging technique provides a good understanding of the mechanical effects contributing to the effectiveness and safety of lithotripsy and can be used to study the optimal fiber shape and position towards the stone surface.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics X
ISBN (Print)9780819498397
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics X 2014 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 1 Feb 20142 Feb 2014
Conference number: 10

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferencePhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics X 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Background oriented schlieren
  • Holmium laser
  • Lithotripsy
  • Mechanical stress
  • Pulsed laser
  • Waves
  • n/a OA procedure


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