Comparison of three pulsed infrared lasers for optical stimulation of the rat prostate cavernous nerves

Charlotte S.D. Stahl, Serhat Tozburun, Thomas C. Hutchens, Gwen A. Lagoda, Arthur L. Burnett, Matthew D. Keller, Nathaniel M. Fried

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Optical nerve stimulation (ONS) is being explored for identification and preservation of the cavernous nerves (CN), responsible for erectile function, during prostate cancer surgery. This study compares three pulsed infrared lasers to determine whether differences in spectral linewidth and/or temporal pulse profile influence successful ONS of CN. Infrared laser radiation from the Capella diode laser (1873 nm, 5 ms, 10 Hz), Thulium fiber laser (TFL) (1873 nm, 5 ms, 10 Hz), and solid-state Holmium:YAG laser (2120 nm, 200 μs, 5 Hz) were transmitted through 400-μm-corediameter optical fibers, producing a 1-mm-diameter-spot on the nerve surface. Successful ONS was judged by an intracavernous pressure (ICP) response in the penis (n =10 rats) during a total stimulation time of 30 s. The narrow linewidth TFL (Δλ ∼ 0.5 nm) and broad linewidth Capella laser (Δλ ∼ 12 nm) performed similarly, producing ICP responses with a threshold radiant exposure of ∼ 0.45 J/cm2, and ICP response times of 12-17 s, while the Holmium laser stimulated at ∼ 0.59 J/cm2, and ICP response times of about 14-28 s. All three lasers demonstrated successful ONS of CN. ICP response time was dependent on the rate of energy deposition into the CN, rather than linewidth or temporal pulse profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IX
StatePublished - May 30 2013
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IX - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2013Feb 7 2013

Publication series

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


OtherPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics IX
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Cavernous nerves
  • Infrared lasers
  • Optical nerve stimulation
  • Prostate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of three pulsed infrared lasers for optical stimulation of the rat prostate cavernous nerves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this