Temperature-controlled optical stimulation of the rat prostate cavernous Nerves

Serhat Tozburun, Gwen A. Lagoda, Michael A. McLain, Arthur L. Burnett, Nathaniel M. Fried

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


Optical nerve stimulation (ONS) may be useful for intra-operative identification and preservation of the prostate cavernous nerves (CN's), responsible for erectile function, during radical prostatectomy. ONS relies on a photothermal mechanism of laser-tissue interaction in which elevating nerve temperature to within a narrow range (∼ 42 - 47 oC) is critical to successful nerve activation without thermal damage. This preliminary study explores a prototype temperature-controlled laser system for maintaining a constant nerve temperature during ONS of the rat prostate CN's. A 150-mW, 1455-nm diode laser was operated in continuous-wave mode during stimulation of the rat CN's for 30 s through a fiber optic probe with 1-mm-diameter spot. The all-single-mode ONS system was controlled by a computer which opened and closed an in-line mechanical shutter in response to an IR sensor, with a temperature set-point of 45 oC. Thermal camera temperature measurements and ONS without temperature control were performed for comparison. Strong correlation was observed between IR sensor and camera temperatures. With temperature control, CN temperature was maintained at 45.0 ± 1.5 oC. Without IR sensor feedback, CN temperatures continued to rise during ONS, reaching unsafe levels of ∼ 50 oC.

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
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Cavernous nerves
  • Continuous-wave
  • Infrared
  • Optical nerve stimulation
  • Prostate
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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