50 years of laser technology: concentrated beams of light are now indispensable in medicine
International Trade Fair and Convention Laser Optics Berlin from 22 to 24 March 2010
Berlin, 9 February 2010 – For many people the ability to read small print or faraway traffic signs once more is due to the successful use of lasers, which have come to occupy an indispensable place in opthalmological practice. Since the early 1960s the concentrated light from laser beams has revolutionised ophthalmology in areas such as microscopy, early detection of damage to the retina, corneal treatment or diagnostic purposes. From 22 to 24 March 2010 the trade fair Laser Optics Berlin will feature innovations and the latest trends, marking the 50th anniversary of this technology.
Nowadays there is hardly any area of medicine that does not rely on the use of laser guns, with their concentrated beams of high-energy light, especially when standard methods cannot match the precision and effectiveness of devices operating with varying wavelengths. The range of available light frequencies and amount of light emitted play a pre-eminent role in medical advances in areas such as opthalmology, orthopaedics, cancer treatment or dentistry. They can also be relied upon for “welding” living tissue and for carrying out repairs in milliseconds, for example, on teeth and bones, and almost always without causing any pain. It is therefore just a mater of time before patients undergoing dental treatment will no longer need to fear injections and drills. Lasers operate at such a speed that, described in graphic terms, the nerves and the brain do not have time to register any pain.
However, the more gentle laser has not yet replaced conventional drills because it represents an expensive investment and the health insurance organisations are generally unwilling to meet the additional costs of treatment.
However, one item of equipment that is already well established is a device that uses a minute explosion to remove decayed areas of a tooth, to numb the sensitive neck of a tooth, to seal molars, for root canal treatment and to combat the widely feared paradontosis. The effectiveness of these high energy beams of light has also been demonstrated during operations on the jaw area.
Furthermore, such a concentrated beam of light with varying wavelengths, as had already been envisaged by Albert Einstein, destroys the bacteria which take advantage of tiny openings in the teeth and can eventually destroy them. Laser beans can also remove the bacteria and close the apertures.
Currently medical specialists can choose from more than a dozen laser systems, with some impressive technical capabilities, as cutting instruments, “welding tools” for closing wounds and blood vessels, or as “planes” in orthopaedics. Whatever the application, it is vital to be accurately informed about laser technology, where advances are raising the hopes of cancer patients in particular. Here the aim is to use thermal laser treatment to avoid the stresses on the patient’s body caused by chemotherapy. Success in the treatment and removal of surface abnormalities in the vascular system (e.g. haemangiomas and port wine stains) would represent a major step forward in combating tumours.
And hopes of finding a way of dealing with a modern, fashion-induced condition are already meeting with success for those who have become embarrassed by their tattoos. Using a concentrated beam of light from a laser doctors can make the tattoo disappear, in the truest sense of the word, into thin air.
About Laser Optics Berlin
Laser Optics Berlin – International Trade Fair and Convention for Optical and Laser Technology – is held every two years. In 2008 more than 130 exhibitors from Germany and abroad presented innovative products and services on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. Approximately 90 per cent of the 2,650 people attending this event were trade visitors. Laser Optics Berlin is organised by Messe Berlin in association with TSB Innovations-agentur Berlin GmbH, and with its partners Max-Born Institut, OpTecBB, Adlershof Projekt GmbH and Laserverbund Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. More details can be found at
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