We have used a tunable, infrared, free-electron laser with a Pockels cell controlled pulse duration to generate photoacoustic pulses with separate variable rise times (from 15 to 100 ns), durations (100-400 ns), and amplitudes (0.005-0.1 MPa). The tunability of the free-electron laser across water absorption bands allows the rise time of the thermal-elastically generated acoustical pulsed to be varied, while a Pockels cell controls the duration and cross polarizers control the pressure amplitude. The mechanical effects of pressure transients on biological tissue can have dramatic consequences. In addition to cell necrosis, carefully controlled pressure transients can also be used for therapeutic applications, such as drug delivery and gene therapy. This technique permits systemic probing of how biological tissue is affected by stress transients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering