Retinal Laser Therapy: Mechanisms of Interaction and Tissue Response

Despite widespread use of lasers in retinal therapy it remains largely unknown how its benefits and deleterious side effects relate to parameters of laser treatment and subsequent retinal healing. Thus strategies to reduce untoward effects of laser therapy while maintaining clinical benefit are highly desirable.

We study tissue response to transient thermal stress below the damage threshold, utilizing markers of the cellular response, such as Heat Shock Proteins. We developed an algorithm for treatment of the retina without damage.

In addition to basic stuidies, we also conduct clinical trials of this approach to treatment of macular diseases, such as Central Serous Retinopathy, Diabetic Macular Edema, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration.


We also work on selective ablation of specific retinal layers, including Retinal Pigmented Epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors. For selective ablation of RPE we use rapidly scanning continuous laser providing microsecond exposures. Heat confinment in melanosomes during such short pulses can result in explosive vaporization of melanosomes, leading to mechanical destruction of RPE cells without damage to surrounding tissues. We study healing response of RPE to selective laser therapy, and develop therapeutic applications of this approach.