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Lukac N.,University of Ljubljana | Suhovrsnik T.,University of Ljubljana | Lukac M.,Institute Josef Stefan | Jezersek M.,University of Ljubljana
Journal of Biomedical Optics | Year: 2016

Erbium lasers are by now an accepted tool for performing ablative medical procedures, especially when minimal invasiveness is desired. Ideally, a minimally invasive laser cutting procedure should be fast and precise, and with minimal pain and thermal side effects. All these characteristics are significantly influenced by laser pulse duration, albeit not in the same manner. For example, high cutting efficacy and low heat deposition are characteristics of short pulses, while vibrations and ejected debris screening are less pronounced at longer pulse durations. We report on a study of ablation characteristics on dental enamel and cementum, of a chopped-pulse Er:YAG [quantum square pulse (QSP)] mode, which was designed to reduce debris screening during an ablation process. It is shown that in comparison to other studied standard Er:YAG and Er,Cr:YSGG laser pulse duration modes, the QSP mode exhibits the highest ablation drilling efficacy with lowest heat deposition and reduced vibrations, demonstrating that debris screening has a considerable influence on the ablation process. By measuring single-pulse ablation depths, we also show that tissue desiccation during the consecutive delivery of laser pulses leads to a significant reduction of the intrinsic ablation efficacy that cannot be fully restored under clinical settings by rehydrating the tooth using an external water spray. © 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

Lukac N.,University of Ljubljana | Zadravec J.,University of Ljubljana | Gregorcic P.,University of Ljubljana | Lukac M.,Institute Josef Stefan | Jezerseka M.,University of Ljubljana
Journal of Biomedical Optics | Year: 2016

Laser-enhanced irrigation of complex root canals appears to be a very promising technique to improve the outcome of root canal treatment. This applies, in particular, if the technique can be effective at very low laser energies in irrigating not only the main canal but also the small lateral canals. This is important in order to avoid potential undesirable effects at higher laser energies such as temperature increase, dentin ablation, or extrusion of irrigating solution beyond the apical foramen. An improved understanding of the role of laser parameters, such as laser wavelength and pulse duration, in irrigation of lateral canals is therefore desired in order to optimize treatment efficacy. The influence of laser wavelength and pulse duration on cavitation phenomena was studied using shadow photography and a method of measuring fluid flow in lateral canals based on tracking of movements of small air bubbles naturally forming in liquid as a result of laser agitation. A simulated model of a root canal including a narrow lateral canal designed to represent typical root canal morphology was used for the water flow measurements. The following three laser wavelengths with relatively high absorption in water were studied: Er:YAG (2.94 ìm), Er,Cr:YSGG (2.73 ìm), and Nd:YAP (1.34 ìm). Among the three wavelengths studied, the Er:YAG laser wavelength was found to be the most effective in formation of cavitation bubbles and in generating fluid motions within narrow lateral canals. A comparison between the shadow photography and fluid motion data indicates that it is the bubble's radius and not the bubble's volume that predominantly influences the fluid motion within lateral canals. Based on the results of our study, it appears that effective minimally invasive laser-assisted irrigation can be performed with low Er:YAG laser pulse energies below 10 mJ. © 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

Fucic A.,Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health | Plavec D.,Children Hospital Srebrnjak | Casteleyn L.,Catholic University of Leuven | Aerts D.,Federal Public Service Health | And 46 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2015

Susceptibility to environmental stressors has been described for fetal and early childhood development. However, the possible susceptibility of the prepubertal period, characterized by the orchestration of the organism towards sexual maturation and adulthood has been poorly investigated and exposure data are scarce. In the current study levels of cadmium (Cd), cotinine and creatinine in urine were analyzed in a subsample 216 children from 12 European countries within the DEMOCOPHES project. The children were divided into six age-sex groups: boys (6-8 years, 9-10 years and 11 years old), and girls (6-7 years, 8-9 years, 10-11 years). The number of subjects per group was between 23 and 53. The cut off values were set at 0.1 μg/L for Cd, and 0.8 μg/L for cotinine defined according to the highest limit of quantification. The levels of Cd and cotinine were adjusted for creatinine level. In the total subsample group, the median level of Cd was 0.180. μg/L (range 0.10-0.69 μg/L), and for cotinine the median wet weight value was 1.50 μg/L (range 0.80-39.91 μg/L). There was no significant difference in creatinine and cotinine levels between genders and age groups. There was a significant correlation between levels of cadmium and creatinine in all children of both genders. This shows that even at such low levels the possible effect of cadmium on kidney function was present and measurable. An increase in Cd levels was evident with age. Cadmium levels were significantly different between 6-7 year old girls, 11 year old boys and 10-11 year old girls. As there was a balanced distribution in the number of subjects from countries included in the study, bias due to data clustering was not probable. The impact of low Cd levels on kidney function and gender differences in Cd levels needs further investigation. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Strle D.,University of Ljubljana | Musevic I.,Institute Josef Stefan
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2015

This article presents the design of a miniature detection system and its associated signal processing electronics, which can detect and selectively recognize vapor traces of different materials in the air - including explosives. It is based on the array of surface-functionalized COMB capacitive sensors and extremely low noise, analog, integrated electronic circuit, hardwired digital signal processing hardware and additional software running on a PC. The instrument is sensitive and selective, consumes a minimum amount of energy, is very small (few mm3) and cheap to produce in large quantities, and is insensitive to mechanical influences. Using an electronic detection system built of low noise analog front-end and hard-wired digital signal processing, it is possible to detect less than 0.3ppt of TNT molecules in the atmosphere (3 TNT molecules in 1013molecules of the air) at 25°C on a 1 Hz bandwidth using very small volume and approx. 10 mA current from a 5V supply voltage. The sensors are implemented in a modified MEMS process and analog electronics in 0.18 um CMOS technology. © 2015 SPIE.

Nemes K.,Fotona D.d. | Lukac M.,Institute Josef Stefan | Mozina J.,University of Ljubljana
Optics and Laser Technology | Year: 2012

The influence of the flashlamp pump current pulse shape on Er:YAG laser efficiency and laser rod thermal focusing was studied theoretically and experimentally. Two pulse shapes, PFN (Pulse Forming Network) and VSP (Variable Square Pulse), were considered. Theoretical modeling and experimental measurements show that the pump pulse shape itself does not have a significant influence on the Er:YAG laser efficiency or thermal focusing. Instead, the major parameter influencing Er:YAG laser efficiency and thermal focusing was found to be the overall pulse duration. For PFN pulses, rise and fall times directly define the overall pulse duration, and therefore do have influence on thermal focusing. By contrast, VSP pulse duration is defined by the externally controlled on-time of the switching transistor. For square shaped pulses, short rise and fall times do not have a direct beneficial influence on thermal lensing. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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