Our lab also utilizes fiber coupled lasers for various biomedical therapeutics. We have previously used 980nm, 1205nm, and 1710nm light to damage nerves surrounding the renal arteries for a potential treatment of hypertension. These wavelengths have a high absorbance in the fatty myelin sheath of these nerves and can selectively damage the neurons without damaging artery walls. Furthermore, a 980nm probe was created to selectively ablate these nerves in vivo.
Current experiments utilize a 1205nm fiber coupled laser and probe to selectively melt the visceral fat in a diet-induced obese rat model. This fat has been shown to be directly linked to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Animals are tracked over a 12-week period post-surgery and tested for metabolic improvement via a glucose tolerance test. Laser treatment reduces the compensatory affects normally seen in weight loss and fat removal.
Further experiments will focus on locating the fat pads most responsible for metabolic improvement.