3ns laser treatment explained
The principle of a 3ns laser is that the heat it generates can be targeted at particular cells.
In ‘retinal rejuvenation’ laser treatment, the targeted cells are the pigmented cells underneath the photoreceptors. The ultrashort burst of energy heats only the target cells and thereby minimises the spread to other tissue layers, including
the photoreceptors. The process is similar to cryotherapy – as used for skin lesions, warts and blisters – which burns off the surface layer but leaves the healthy surrounding tissue.
Preventing damage to the photoreceptors means that it is possible to treat some potentially blinding diseases with a minimum of ‘collateral’ or ‘bystander’ damage to other critical tissues.
Details of the study
The most promising use of this tissue is currently being explored in the Laser for Early AMD (LEAD) study headed by Professor Robin Guymer of the Macular Research Unit at CERA, Melbourne Australia.
A/Prof Heriot has been a co-investigator in the study and will complete a follow-up of all treated cases in March 2018 to report the results later in the year.
A/Prof Heriot is currently investigating the same protocol in patients who were excluded from the LEAD trial for non–AMD related reasons. This investigator-initiated project has been approved by the Human Research and Ethics Committee at Cabrini Medical Centre.
Other uses of the 3ns laser technology are selected cases of diabetic macula oedema and for central serous chorioretinopathy.