Modern imaging systems help scientists unveil the last secrets of the human body. Their understanding of cellular and molecular processes provides doctors and medical engineers with valuable insights for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures – many of them using the advantages of laser technology.
Using excimer and femtosecond lasers, doctors operate on the cornea to correct ametropia such as corneal curvature, nearsight-edness, and farsightedness.
With the so-called laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) procedure, corneal curvature, myopia, and hyperopia can be corrected with lasers. The aim is to achieve optimal refractive power by targeted ablation of the cornea.
In the femto-LASIK procedure, a femtosecond laser cuts the upper corneal layer, which is folded away to the side like a flap. The vision defect is then corrected with a 193 nm excimer laser in deeper corneal layers. The corneal tissue to be ablated is vapourized via photoablation. At the end of the operation, the flap is folded back and grows back in a few hours.
For a successful operation, the laser system must be optimally and individually adapted to the patient. Cross-hair lasers help with positioning along the x-axis and y-axis, as well as with determining the working height. During the procedure, a pilot laser indicates the working point of the invisible radiation of the excimer laser. To ensure that the auxiliary lasers do not cause damage to the eye, it must be guaranteed that the output power for the sum of all modules does not exceed the limits of laser class 1. The lasers must, therefore, be able to reliably emit low powers in the µW range.