Objective To optimize the infrared laser wavelength and optical nerve stimulation (ONS) parameters for both deep and rapid subsurface cavernous nerve (CN) stimulation in a rat model, in vivo. Materials and Methods A 150-mW, 1490-nm diode laser providing an optical penetration depth (OPD) of 518 μm in water was operated in continuous-wave mode during stimulation of the CNs in 8 rats for 15 seconds irradiation time through a custom-built, single-mode fiber optic probe capable of producing a collimated, 1-mm diameter laser beam. Successful ONS was judged by an intracavernous pressure response in the rat penis. Subsurface ONS at 1490 nm was also compared with previous studies using 1455 nm and 1550 nm near-infrared diode laser wavelengths. Results Subsurface ONS of the rat CN was successful through fascia layers with a thickness up to 380 μm using an incident laser power of ∼50 mW. Intracavernous pressure response times as short as 4.6 ± 0.2 seconds were recorded using higher laser powers below the nerve damage threshold. Conclusion The 1490-nm diode laser represents a compact, low cost, high power, and high quality infrared light source for use in ONS. This wavelength provides deeper penetration than 1455-nm diode laser and more rapid and efficient nerve stimulation than 1550-nm diode laser.
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