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Patexia Research
Patent No. US 11172987
Issue Date Nov 16, 2021
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Patent 11172987 - Method and apparatus for selective treatment of biological tissue > Claims

  • 1. A method, comprising: emitting, by a laser system including at least one laser, at least one laser beam having a nanosecond pulse duration;focusing, by an optical system including at least one lens, the at least one laser beam to a focal region at a selected distance from a surface of a tissue including pigmented and unpigmented regions; andcontrolling, using a control arrangement, the laser system and the optical system to cause an irradiation energy transferred to the focal region of the at least one laser beam at a wavelength that is selectively absorbed by the pigmented region of the tissue,wherein the at least one laser beam generates a plasma locally at the pigmented regions of the tissue when the focal region overlaps with the pigmented regions, thereby causing damage to the pigmented regions of the tissue within the focal region, andwherein the at least one laser beam avoids damage at the unpigmented regions of the tissue when the focal region does not overlap with the pigmented region and overlaps with the unpigmented region.
    • 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the plasma is a thermionic plasma, and wherein the generation of the thermionic plasma (i) causes damage to the pigmented regions of the tissue within the focal region when the focal region overlaps with the pigmented regions, and (ii) avoids a generation of the thermionic plasma at the unpigmented regions of the tissue and avoids damage at the unpigmented regions of the tissue when the focal region does not overlap with the pigmented region and overlaps with the unpigmented region.
    • 3. The method of claim 1, wherein a numerical aperture of the at least one lens is between 0.5 and 0.9.
    • 4. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one laser beam has a wavelength in the range of about 600 nm to about 1100 nm when measured in air.
    • 5. The method of claim 1, wherein a peak intensity of the at least one laser beam is at least about 10{circumflex over ( )}8 W/cm2 in the focal region.
    • 6. The method of claim 1, wherein the focal region is located within the dermis.
    • 7. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one laser beam comprises (i) a first laser pulse configured to generate a thermionic emission of electrons, and (ii) a second laser pulse configured to generate the plasma that is a thermionic plasma.
    • 8. The method of claim 1, wherein a spot size of the focal region is in the range of about 5 μm to about 100 μm when measured in air.
    • 9. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one lens is configured to vary the selected distance of the focal region with respect to the surface of the tissue.
      • 10. The method of claim 9, wherein the selected distance of the focal region from the surface of the tissue is in the range of about 5 μm to about 1000 μm.
    • 11. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one lens comprises a plurality of micro-lenses.
      • 12. The method of claim 11, further comprising directing a single laser beam over at least one portion of the plurality of micro-lenses to produce a plurality of focal regions simultaneously.
      • 13. The method of claim 11, further comprising directing a single laser beam over at least a portion of the plurality of micro-lenses to produce a plurality of focal regions non-simultaneously.
      • 14. The method of claim 11, further comprising: emitting a plurality of laser beams; anddirecting at least one of the plurality of laser beams on one or more of the plurality of micro-lenses.
    • 15. The method of claim 1, wherein the pigmented regions of the tissue comprise a chromophore.
      • 16. The method of claim 15, wherein the chromophore comprises at least one of melanin, tattoo inks, hemoglobin, sebaceous glands, subcutaneous fat, hair bulb, lipids in cell membrane, fat surrounding organs, vessels, or drug components.
    • 17. The method of claim 1, further comprising detecting, by one or more sensors, one or more of a velocity or a position of an apparatus, that includes the laser system and the optical system, relative to the surface of the tissue.
      • 18. The method of claim 17, further comprising: receiving, by a feedback control configuration, data characterizing the one or more of the velocity or the position detected by the one or more sensors; andcontrolling, by the feedback control configuration, at least one of a pulse duration, a pulse frequency or a pulse energy of the at least one laser beam.
    • 19. The method of claim 1, further comprising controlling, by the laser system, a time interval between temporally adjacent laser pulses of the at least one laser beam such that a travel time for a movement of the focal region from a first location in the tissue to a second location in the tissue is less than the time interval.
      • 20. The method of claim 19, wherein the time interval between the temporally adjacent laser pulses is less than 50 milliseconds.
  • 21. A method, comprising: emitting, by a laser system that includes at least one q-switched laser, at least one laser beam;focusing, by an optical system that includes at least one lens, the at least one laser beam to a focal region at a selected distance from a surface of a tissue that includes pigmented and unpigmented regions; andcontrolling, using a control arrangement, the laser system and the optical system to cause an irradiation energy transferred to the focal region of the at least one laser beam at a wavelength that is selectively absorbed by the pigmented region of the tissue,wherein, when the focal region overlaps with the pigmented regions, the at least one laser beam generates a thermionic plasma locally at the pigmented regions of the tissue, thereby causing damage to the pigmented region of the tissue within the focal region, andwherein, when the focal region does not overlap with the pigmented regions and overlaps with the unpigmented region, the at least one laser beam avoids generation of the thermionic plasma damage at the unpigmented regions and avoids damage at the unpigmented regions of the tissue.
    • 22. The method of claim 21, wherein a numerical aperture of the at least one lens is between 0.5 and 0.9.
    • 23. The method of claim 21, wherein the at least one laser beam has a wavelength in the range of about 600 nm to about 1100 nm when measured in air.
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