Terahertz three-dimensional monitoring of nanoparticle-assisted laser tissue soldering

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In view of minimally-invasive clinical interventions, laser tissue soldering assisted by plasmonic nanoparticles is emerging as an appealing concept in surgical medicine, holding the promise of surgeries without sutures. Rigorous monitoring of the plasmonically-heated solder and the underlying tissue is crucial for optimizing the soldering bonding strength and minimizing the photothermal damage. To this end, we propose a non-invasive, non-contact, and non-ionizing modality for monitoring nanoparticle-assisted laser-tissue interaction and visualizing the localized photothermal damage, by taking advantage of the unique sensitivity of terahertz radiation to the hydration level of biological tissue. We demonstrate that terahertz radiation can be employed as a versatile tool to reveal the thermally-affected evolution in tissue, and to quantitatively characterize the photothermal damage induced by nanoparticle-assisted laser tissue soldering in three dimensions. Our approach can be easily extended and applied across a broad range of clinical applications involving laser-tissue interaction, such as laser ablation and photothermal therapies.