Raydiance USP Laser Attacks Unwanted Cells

The Raydiance ultrashort pulse laser (USP) system uses light to vaporize matter. The device has a variety of medical uses, including making eye surgery more precise, remove tooth decay without drilling and to suppress metabolic activity in cancer cells.


(Raydiance desktop USP laser)

USP lasers ablate (vaporize matter) by using a multi-photon ionization, a non-linear process unlike standard lasers. The energy concentrated in an ultrashort pulse produces a peak power large enough to disrupt the atomic bonds of the target material, expelling it from the surface. No heat is transferred into the surrounding area.

The very short duration of the pulses (a trillionth of a second) enables precise spatial resolution that can be used with modern imaging and diagnostic applications. USP can be used in association with time-resolved optical tomography, laser image detection and ranging (LIDAR), laser detection and ranging (LADAR), and multi-photon fluorescence spectroscopy.

Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer wrote about something similar in his 2003 novel Hybrids (Neanderthal Parallax). Going between worlds, it's a good idea to make sure that the microorganisms of one world do not contaminate another:

Mary Stripped naked...and went through the tuned-laser decontamination process, coherent beams at precise wave-lengths passing through her flesh to zap foreign molecules within her body.
(Read more about tuned-laser decontamination)

This technology also has other uses in creating new materials; see Femtosecond Laser Pulse Turns Metals Pitch Black.

Story via San Francisco Chronicle; see also the Raydiance company website. Thanks to CyberStrike for contributing the story and the quote.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/22/2007)

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