Syneresis of Vitreous by Carbon Dioxide Laser Radiation

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Science  11 Mar 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4589, pp. 1217-1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.219.4589.1217


In carbon dioxide laser surgery of the vitreous a process of vaporization has been advocated. In this report syneresis, a thermal liquefaction of gel, is shown to be over ten times more efficient on an energy basis than vaporization. Syneresis of vitreous is experimentally shown to be a first-order kinetic process with an activation energy of 41 ± 0.5 kilocalories per mole. A theory of laser surgery in which this figure is used agrees closely with results from laser experiments on human eye-bank vitreous. The syneresis of vitreous by carbon dioxide laser radiation could lead to a more delicate form of ocular microsurgery, and application to other biological systems may be possible.