Design of a compact laparoscopic probe for optical stimulation of the cavernous nerves

Serhat Tozburun, Nathaniel M. Fried

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


The cavernous nerves are responsible for erectile function and course along the prostate surface, varying in size and location among patients, making preservation of sexual function challenging after prostate cancer surgery. Electrical stimulation has proven inconsistent and unreliable in identifying these nerves and evaluating nerve function. Optical stimulation of the rat cavernous nerves has recently been reported as a alternative to electrical stimulation, with potential advantages including noncontact stimulation and improved spatial selectivity. This study describes the design of a compact laparoscopic probe for future clinical use in optical nerve stimulation. The 10-Fr (3.4-mm-OD) prototype laparoscopic probe includes an aspheric lens for collimation of the laser beam with a 0.8-mm-diameter spot, coupled with a 200-μm-core optical fiber. A 45° gold-coated rod mirror in the probe tip provides side-firing delivery of the laser radiation. The probe handle houses a miniature linear motorized stage for lateral scanning of the probe tip over a 25-mm line along the prostate surface. A 5.5-W Thulium fiber laser with tunable wavelength range of 1850-1880 nm was tested with the probe. The probe fits through a standard 5-mm-ID laparoscopic port and is capable of delivering pulse energies up to 8 mJ (1.6 J/cm 2) at a 2.5-ms pulse duration, well above the threshold (∼0.35 J/cm 2) for optical stimulation of the cavernous nerves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2009
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics V - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2009Jan 26 2009


OtherPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Cavernous nerves
  • Laparoscopic probe
  • Nerve
  • Optical stimulation
  • Prostate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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