Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070121069 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/595,423
Publication dateMay 31, 2007
Filing dateNov 8, 2006
Priority dateNov 16, 2005
Also published asEP1948003A2, EP1948003A4, EP1948003B1, WO2007059189A2, WO2007059189A3
Publication number11595423, 595423, US 2007/0121069 A1, US 2007/121069 A1, US 20070121069 A1, US 20070121069A1, US 2007121069 A1, US 2007121069A1, US-A1-20070121069, US-A1-2007121069, US2007/0121069A1, US2007/121069A1, US20070121069 A1, US20070121069A1, US2007121069 A1, US2007121069A1
InventorsDan Andersen, David Mordaunt
Original AssigneeAndersen Dan E, Mordaunt David H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple spot photomedical treatment using a laser indirect ophthalmoscope
US 20070121069 A1
Abstract
A laser indirect ophthalmoscope (LIO) apparatus for photomedical treatment and/or diagnosis is presented. The LIO apparatus allows multiple spot ophthalmic surgery to be performed in a wider range of patient positions and less intrusively than currently available methods. The LIO apparatus utilizes a separate or integral beam multiplier that generates one or more optical beams via spatial and/or temporal separation, and an optical system that conditions and directs the one or more optical beams to a target to form a pattern. The LIO apparatus includes a headset, and is therefore wearable by the user (e.g., a physician).
Images(20)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(37)
1. An apparatus for photomedical treatment or diagnosis of a target tissue, the apparatus comprising:
a light source for generating light;
a headset designed to be Worn by a user, wherein the headset includes an input for receiving the light and an output for projecting the light on a target tissue;
a beam multiplier positioned for receiving the light and for generating one or more optical beams by spatial and/or temporal separation of the light for projection thereof via the output on the target tissue in the form of a pattern.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier is supported by the headset.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the beam multiplier is positioned for receiving the light from the input.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the pattern comprises one or more discrete spots on the target tissue.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein each of the discrete spots is a straight or curved line.
6. The apparatus of claim 3, further comprising a zooming lens located between the input and the beam multiplier for adjusting a size of the first optical beam.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a zooming lens located after the beam multiplier for adjusting a size of the one or more second optical beams.
8. The apparatus of claim 3, further comprising a collimating lens located between the input and the beam multiplier.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises a beam scanner for refracting or reflecting the light, the beam scanner generating the optical beams by temporal separation of the light.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises:
a first scanner for deflecting the light in a first direction; and
a second scanner for deflecting the light in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises a moving lens that is positioned to refract the light at a different angle depending on the location of the moving lens that receives the light.
12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the moving lens spins about an off-center axis.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises a rotating prism that is positioned to refract the light at different angles depending on an orientation of the prism.
14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier generates the optical beams by simultaneously dividing the light into the optical beams.
15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises a transmissive diffraction element for converting the light into the optical beams.
16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises a reflective diffraction element for converting the light into the optical beams.
17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises a dispersion compensating element.
18. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises a plurality of beam splitters.
19. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier is an adaptive optic.
20. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises an anamorphic correction element.
21. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the anamorphic correction element is an adaptive optic or a cylindrical lens.
22. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises:
a plurality of optical fibers.
23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the beam multiplier further comprises:
a scanning element for sequentially delivering the light to one or more of the plurality of optical fibers.
24. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises:
a first optical fiber;
a plurality of optical fibers; and
a fiber splitter for receiving the light from the first optical fiber and directing the light to the plurality of optical fibers.
25. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises:
a first optical fiber;
a plurality of optical fibers; and
a fiber switch for receiving the light from the first optical fiber and sequentially directing the light to the plurality of optical fibers.
26. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
a controller for controlling the light source.
27. The system of claim 9, wherein the beam multiplier is positioned for generating the optical beams by temporal separation such that the second beams are sequential pulses.
28. The system of claim 27, wherein the sequential pulses having durations no longer than 50 ms.
29. The system of claim 1, wherein the beam multiplier comprises an adjustable aperture for creating the optical beams having a shape that is different from that of the light.
30. The system of claim 1, further comprising:
a second light source for generating an aiming beam that is combined with the light.
31. The system of claim 22, wherein the fiber multiplier includes means for adjusting a spacing of the fibers.
32. A method of treating target tissue, comprising:
generating light;
conveying the light to a head mountable LIO apparatus having an input for receiving the light and an output;
converting the light to one or more optical beams in the form of a pattern using a beam multiplier that spatially and/or temporally separates the light; and
projecting the pattern of the one or more optical beams to target tissue.
33. The method of claim 32, wherein the converting of the light is performed before the conveying of the light.
34. The method of claim 32, wherein the converting of the light is performed after the conveying of the light.
35. The method of claim 32, wherein the converting comprises:
scanning the light to create the pattern.
36. The method of claim 35, wherein the pattern comprises one or more discrete spots on the target.
37. The method of claim 32, wherein the converting comprises:
splitting the light into the optical beams for simultaneous impingement of the optical beams on the target tissue.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This application claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. Ser. No. 60/737,548, filed on Nov. 16, 2005, the entire content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to patterned photothermal treatment of retinal tissue and particularly to such treatment using a laser indirect ophthalmoscope.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are subject to photocoagulative treatment with laser light. While this type of laser light treatment slows the damage rate of the underlying disease, it has its set of problems. For example, because the treatment entails exposing the eye to a large number of laser light pulses for a long period of time (typically each pulse is on the order of 100 ms), damage can be caused to the patient's sensory retina from the heat that is generated. During the treatment, heat is generated predominantly in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), which is the melanin-containing layer of the retina directly beneath the photoreceptors of the sensory retina. Although visible light is predominantly absorbed in the RPE, this type of treatment irreversibly damages the overlying sensory retina and negatively affects the patient's vision.

A slit-lamp-mounted laser delivery device is commonly used for this type of laser light treatment. In this device, the slit lamp is arranged to allow easy illumination and microscopic viewing of the eye of a seated patient. Slit lamps used in laser treatment/surgery include a high-brightness illuminator and microscope assemblies mounted on a shared pivot point. This arrangement allows the viewing angle of the microscope and illuminator to be changed as often as desired without moving the field of illumination or visualization transversely.

Slit-lamp-mounted laser delivery devices have their shortcomings. Specifically, certain parts of the eye are difficult to treat with this type of device. For example, the anterior aspect of a retinal break is by far the most important part to seal, as this is the area most subjected to vitreous traction. However, this area is not completely accessible with a slit-lamp-delivered laser system. Also, the slit-lamp-mounted laser delivery device is not well suited for treating small infants or bed-ridden patients. Furthermore, it is difficult to orient the patient's head position with slit-lamp-mounted systems. Thus, these devices have limited ability to treat patients with detached retinas and other conditions where gas or dense fluids have been introduced into the eye to secure detached tissues prior to laser exposure. To treat these conditions, the patient's head is oriented to reposition the tissue or tamponade material.

FIG. 1 shows a Laser Indirect Ophthalmoscope (LIO), which may be used in conjunction with the slit-lamp-mounted laser delivery device to overcome these shortcomings. As illustrated, the LIO 1 is worn on the physician's head using a headset 2 and is used to treat peripheral retinal disorders, particularly in infants or adults requiring treatment in the supine position. It is typically used in an operating room or clinical environment. Traditionally, an LIO 1 is used with a fiber optic coupled light source 3 attached to a beam delivery and visualization system 4 via an optical fiber 5, which is worn by a physician, to deliver treatment spots one at a time, with the physician moving his or her head and/or the ophthalmic lens to reposition the aiming beam prior to delivering another spot of treatment light. This is difficult and tiresome for both patient and physician.

Accordingly, there is a need for a flexible and time-efficient approach to retinal photocoagulation with an LIO that is not provided by known methods or apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an improved device and method for patterned photothermal treatment of retinal tissue utilizing a laser indirect ophthalmoscope.

An apparatus for photomedical treatment or diagnosis of a target tissue includes a light source for generating light, a headset designed to be worn by a user wherein the headset includes an input for receiving the light and an output for projecting the light on a target tissue, and a beam multiplier positioned for receiving the light and for generating one or more optical beams by spatial and/or temporal separation of the light for projection thereof via the output on the target tissue in the form of a pattern.

A method of treating target tissue includes generating light, conveying the light to a head mountable LIO apparatus having an input for receiving the light and an output, converting the light to one or more optical beams in the form of a pattern using a beam multiplier that spatially and/or temporally separates the light, and projecting the pattern of the one or more optical beams to target tissue.

Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent by a review of the specification, claims and appended figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a conventional Laser Indirect Ophthalmoscope (LIO).

FIG. 2 shows a conventional slit-lamp delivery device.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a photomedical system using a beam multiplier in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 4A through 4I illustrate examples of laser spot patterns that can be generated by the photomedical system of the invention.

FIGS. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 are a schematic diagrams of a first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth embodiments of the beam multiplier BM.

FIG. 15 is a second embodiment of the photomedical system using a fiber bundle to deliver multiple spots.

FIG. 16 is a third embodiment of the photomedical system whereby the fiber unit is a fiber bundle.

FIG. 17 is a fourth embodiment of the photomedical system whereby the fiber unit contains a fiber multiplier.

FIG. 18 shows a 2×2 fiber arrangement can be adjusted to change the spot pattern size and spacing.

FIGS. 19A through 19G show exemplary shapes of the spots that may be formed with the photomedical system.

FIG. 20 is a fifth embodiment of the photomedical system using an anamorphic element AC.

FIGS. 21 and 22 are a schematic representation of the photomedical system 100 illustrating the LIO apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Multiple spot laser therapy is known. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,884,884 by Reis discloses “beam multiplication” by various means. U.S. Pat. No. 5,921,981 by Bahmanyar and Jones discloses a slit-lamp based delivery device and intraocular probes only for multiple spot treatments. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,066,128; and 6,096,028 by the same inventors cover only intraocular probes. However, multiple spot laser therapy is limited in application because it is performed utilizing slit-lamp delivery device (shown in FIG. 2), which has the disadvantages described above. An alternative way of performing multiple spot laser therapy is to utilize probes that are inserted into the eye. However, the use of probes is undesirable because of their intrusiveness.

This invention is based on multiple spot laser therapy using a Laser Indirect Ophthalmoscope (LIO). Using the LIO allows multiple spot laser therapy to be performed without intrusive probe insertions. Moreover, because the LIO allows the physician to treat patients in the supine position, the invention adds flexibility to multiple spot laser therapy.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a photomedical system 100 in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention. The photomedical system 100, which may be used for photomedical treatment or diagnosis, includes a CPU 12, an electronic input/output device 14, a light generation unit 15, and an LIO apparatus 16. The light generation unit 15 is optically coupled to the LIO apparatus 16 by a fiber unit 42. A user, such as a physician, wears the LIO apparatus 16 to view a target with his/her eye 34 through an ophthalmic lens 19. In this case, the target is the retina of an eye 1 (i.e., the patient's eye). The user 34 may see the eye 1 directly or through a screen, such as graphical user interface 36. The CPU 12 is coupled to the light generation unit 15 to control light generation. Optionally, the CPU 12 also controls the LIO apparatus 16. The CPU 12 may be a microprocessor, microcontroller, or any other type of suitable control electronics.

The light generation unit 15 includes a light source 10. The light source 10 may be a diode-pumped solid state laser, gaseous laser, semiconductor laser, light emitting diode, flash lamp, etc. The light source 10 is controlled by the CPU 12 via the input and output (I/O) device 14 to create an optical beam 11, whose centerline is shown by dashed lines. The optical beam 11, upon being generated by the light source 10, encounters mirror M1 which directs a first portion of the optical beam 11 to a photodiode PD1. The photodiode PD1 may be replaced with other types of sensors, as appropriate. The photodiode PD1 serves to sample and measure the power of the light for safety purposes. A second portion of the light from the mirror M1 that is not directed to the photodiode PD1 goes to a shutter S, which acts as a gate to the optical beam 11. The shutter S controls the optical beam 11 to produce discrete spots or a continuous supply of the optical beam to create continuous scans as a means to produce the desired pattern. If the shutter S blocks the light, the optical beam 11 does not travel further. On the other hand, if the shutter S lets the light pass, the optical beam 11 goes on to mirror M2 and mirror M3. Mirror M2 is a turning mirror that may be used in conjunction with mirror M3 to align the optical beam 11 into the fiber unit 42.

Multiple spot laser therapy may be performed using an optional aiming beam in addition to a treatment beam. The aiming beam is used to indicate the location of the beam on the target tissue 1. It may be coincident upon the treatment beam, or provide an outline (or other indication) of the area to be treated. Where an aiming beam is used in addition to the treatment beam, the optical beam 11 generated by the light source 10 is the treatment beam, and a separate aiming beam is produced by an aiming light source 17. The aiming light source 17 preferably produces light of a different wavelength than the light source 10. Once the treatment beam is aligned with the aiming beam, the treatment beam is delivered for treatment of the eye. Each of the aiming beam and the treatment beam may include a single spot of light, multiple discrete spots, or continuous pattern(s) of light.

The aiming beam and the optical beam may be interleaved by gating the light beams on and off. Each spot of light may be round or have some other shape. The aiming beam and the treatment beam do not need to be produced simultaneously. Mirror M3 combines the aiming beam with the optical beam 11 and directs the combined light into the fiber unit 42 via the lens L1. The lens L1 is used to inject the optical beam 11 into the optical fiber unit 42.

Although use of an aiming beam is contemplated as an option, the description herein will focus on the optical beam 11 for simplicity of illustration. Where an aiming beam is used, the optical beam 11 that is received by optical fiber unit 42 is a combination of the aiming beam and the treatment beam.

If the light source 10 produces visible (or otherwise aim quality) light, it may also be used for producing the alignment pattern, making a separate aiming light source 17 unnecessary. The alignment pattern coincides with portions of the eye 1 that will later be illuminated with the optical beam 11 and ensures that the system is properly aligned to the target portion(s) of the eye 1.

The optical beam 11 is transmitted to the LIO assembly 16 via an optical fiber unit 42. A pattern generator assembly 18, where lens L2 acts as the optical input for receiving the optical beam, and mirror M4 acts as the optical output for projecting the beam onto the target tissue, in the LIO apparatus 16 receives the optical beam 11 and directs the optical beam 11 toward the target—i.e., the retina R of the patient's eye 1. The optical beam 11 is focused on the eye 1 and perceived by the patient. A pattern (which may be predetermined) is disposed at the patient's retina R. The position and character of the pattern may be controlled by use of an input device 20 (e.g., a remote control panel) or other user interface, such as graphical user interface (GUI) 36. A person of ordinary skill in the art would understand that the disposition of the optical beam 11 is a function of the optics of the photomedical system 100 and any particular conditions of the patient. Particular conditions that may affect the ultimate disposition of the optical beam 11 include cataracts, retinal inhomogeneities, and intraocular debris, among others.

Lenses L2, L3, and L4 of the pattern generator assembly 18 function to condition and direct the optical beam 11 to the patient's eye 1. Light exiting the optical fiber unit 42 first encounters lens L2 and becomes, for example, collimated before entering the lens L3. Lens L3 may be a single lens or a compound lens, and can be configured as a zoom lens for adjusting the intrinsic size of the beam that comprises the pattern. The light coming out of the lens L3 passes through the beam multiplier BM and enters the lens L4. The beam multiplier BM produces a pattern of multiple spots or a scanned pattern.

When the mirror M4 is small, it may be placed directly in the visualization path 33 without much disturbance. Mirror M4 may also be placed in the center of a binocular imaging apparatus without substantially disturbing the visualization. Lens L4 could also be placed one focal length away from the optical midpoint of the scanning optics to produce a telecentric scan, such as is required for optimal performance by certain choices of ophthalmic lens 19. In this case, the mirror M4 would need to be large enough to contain the entire scan, and could be made as a high reflector spectrally matched to the output of light sources 10 and 17, if used. Visualization 34 of the target zone of the eye is accomplished by viewing through the mirror M4. A further refinement would be to white balance the transmission of mirror M4, making it photopically neutral, by using a more complicated optical coating that makes the transmitted image appear more natural rather than, for example, pinkish when using a green notch filter coating on mirror M4 as would be required when light source 10 produces green light. Visualization system 98 is contained in the LIO assembly 16, and allows the user to visualize the retina R of patient eye 1, preferably with both eyes of the user.

In some embodiments, the CPU 12 also controls the movement of mirror M4 thus controlling the location of the beam/pattern on the target tissue 1. The optical scan to form the pattern can be created in a number of different ways, such as by moving the light source 10, moving the mirror M4, using one or more rotating wedges, using acousto-optic deflector(s), or galvanometric scanner(s), etc. Preferably, mirror M4 may be rotated as already described, or in the case of a mirror with surface curvature (optical power), it may also be translated to produce optical deviation. In the case where mirror M4 has optical power, compensating optical elements (not shown) may be required to produce an image, as opposed to simple illumination as shown. The perception of both discrete spots and spot blinking may be accomplished by scanning quickly between elements of the pattern so as to limit the amount of light registered by the patient and observed in those intermediate spaces.

The pattern may also be used to fixate the patient so that the patient looks at a fixed position away from the optical axis of the physician's visualization and light delivery system, thereby keeping the patient's eye still, and also providing the physician direct optical access to the retinal periphery. Small motions of the pattern may be used to minimize actual eye movement while still capturing the patient's attention. This technique may be especially useful in situations such as pan retinal laser photocoagulation treatment where slight eye movement can be tolerated. Slightly moving the pattern about a center position to attract the patient's attention makes it easy for the patient to fixate on the pattern. Ensuring fixation is especially important during procedures such as macular grid laser photocoagulation treatment, where unintended laser exposure to the central vision is to be avoided.

The ophthalmic lens 19 aids in the user 34 visualization of the retina and creates a magnified intermediate image of retina R at location IP. The ophthalmic lens 19 may then serve to help relay the beam/pattern to retina R. The beam thus relayed to the target tissue 1 will be magnified by the inverse of the image magnification of ophthalmic lens 19. The ophthalmic lens 19 may be a contact or non-contact lens, and may also be used in conjunction with the lens L4 to provide for conjugate pupil planes such that the scanning pivots about the patient's iris, thus maximizing the system's retinal scan field.

FIGS. 4A through 4I illustrate examples of laser spot patterns that can be generated by the photomedical system of the invention. The spots in a pattern are of equal irradiance, size, and separation. FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C show linear arrays (e.g., 2×1, 3×1, 4×1) and FIGS. 4D through 4I show two-dimensional arrays (e.g., 2×2, 3×2, 4×2, 3×3, 4×3 and 4×4). Other patterns may also be generated, such as a circular pattern that may be used to encircle retinal tears. The edge-to-edge separation distance between spots typically varies from 0.5-3 times the spot diameter. For example, a separation distance of 0.5 times the spot diameter may be used for encircling retinal tears, while a separation distance of 3 times the spot diameter may be used for treating lattice degeneration.

There are different ways the beam multiplier BM may produce multiple spots. One way of producing multiple spots is to employ the beam multiplier BM in the LIO assembly 16 as shown in FIG. 3. The LIO assembly 16 is worn by the user 34 (e.g., physician, surgeon) using conventional head mounting hardware. The beam multiplier BM may contain active and/or passive components. The beam multiplier BM may or may not be controlled by the CPU 12 (e.g., a passive element such as a diffractive optic could be used). Thus, in FIG. 3, the connection between the beam multiplier BM and the system is shown with dashed lines. The beam multiplier may be changed or adjusted to alter the spot pattern and/or the orientation of the pattern. The beam multiplier BM may be rotated to re-orient the pattern. This may be performed automatically via CPU 12. Additional optics may also be used to rotate the pattern orientation, such as a Dove prism, not shown. Alternately, beam multiplier BM may be incorporated into the light generation unit 15, and delivered to the pattern generator assembly 18.

The beam may be multiplied simultaneously, scanned to ultimately produce a pattern of delivered spots, or both. Thus, as used herein, “beam multiplication” by beam multiplier BM applies to simultaneous beam multiplication (e.g., by dividing a beam into multiple sub-beams—spatial separation), beam scanning (e.g., beam spots or pattern are projected or formed sequentially—temporal separation), or any combination of the two. FIGS. 5, 6, 7, and 12 show embodiments of the beam multiplier BM that generates the pattern primarily by scanning. FIGS. 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14 show embodiments of the beam multiplier BM that generates a pattern primarily by dividing a beam into multiple sub-beams. FIGS. 15, 16, and 17 show embodiments of the photomedical system 100 that generate the pattern using multiple fibers connected to the light generation unit 15. FIG. 20 shows an embodiment of the photomedical system 100 that anamorphically generates the pattern. In FIGS. 5-14, the lens L3 is not always explicitly shown; however, a person of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the lens L3 may sometimes be needed for adjusting the ultimate size of the optical beam on the target tissue.

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a first embodiment of the beam multiplier BM. In this embodiment, the beam multiplier BM is made with active components such as one or more mirror-based galvanometric scanners. This first embodiment includes a pair of orthogonal axis galvanometric scanners 64 a, 64 b. The lens L2 conditions optical beam 11 prior to its incidence upon the first scanner 64 a, which directs the optical beam 11 toward the second scanner 64 b. As the scanner 64 a moves, it reflects the optical beam 11 in different directions. Beams that are reflected in different directions strike the second scanner 64 b at different locations, and are reflected by the second orthogonal axis scanner 64 b onto different locations on the lens L4. Lens 66 may serve to further condition the beam exiting the scanners, for example, for the purpose of aberration control, but is not necessarily required. The beams reach the lens L4 at different locations and angles. In the case of a telecentric scan, where the midpoint between the scanners 64 a and 64 b is located nominally one focal length away from lens L4, the beams reach the mirror M4 at different points and are reflected toward the image of the target tissue provided by ophthalmic lens 19 as shown in FIG. 3. When the timing of the laser pulses is coordinated with the angular position of the mirrors of the scanners 64 a and 64 b, separate beams (i.e., multiple spots) are created. However, if the light source 10 were left to run continuously, a likewise continuous pattern may be created.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a second embodiment of the beam multiplier BM. In this embodiment, the beam multiplier BM includes an optical element with focusing power, specifically an off-axis moving lens 68 that is movable transversely to the optical axis and able to rotate eccentrically (i.e. not about its optical axis). As the lens 68 spins, the optical beam 11 coming from the lens L2 reaches different parts of the lens 68, thus getting refracted differently depending on what portion of the lens 68 is encountered. The lens L4 directs the optical beam 11 coming from different angles emanating from lens 68 to different spots on the mirror M4. The lens 68 may be replaced with a mirror in other embodiments, where different portions of the moving lens 68 would reflect the beam at different angles.

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of a third embodiment of the beam multiplier BM. In this embodiment, the beam multiplier BM includes a rotating reflective polygon scanner 70 and a reflective element 72. The rotating polygon 70 may be configured to provide different deviation angles on different facets. As the polygon rotates about an axis 71, the optical beam 11 coming from the lens L2 hits different points on the polygon 70 and leaves the polygon 70 at different angles. The reflective element 72 receives the optical beam 11 from the polygon 70 and directs it to the lens L4. The lens L4 forwards the optical beam 11 to the mirror M4. The position on the mirror M4 that the optical beam 11 strikes differs depending on which part of the polygon 70 reflects the optical beam 11.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are schematic diagrams of fourth and fifth embodiments of the beam multiplier BM, respectively. The fourth and fifth embodiments utilize diffraction elements. In FIG. 8, the beam multiplier BM includes a transmissive diffraction element 74, which could be an acousto-optic deflector, hologram, a grating, a phase array, or an adaptive optic, for example. The optical beam 11 coming from the lens L2 reaches the transmissive diffraction element 74 and gets divided into sub-beams 11 a, 11 b which strike the mirror M4 in different places, and/or at different incident angles.

In FIG. 9, the beam multiplier BM includes a reflective diffraction element 76 along with reflective elements 78. The optical beam 11 coming from the lens L2 reaches the reflective diffraction element 76 to get divided into sub-beams 11 a, 11 b. The reflected sub-beams 11 a, 11 b are redirected toward the lens L4 by one of the reflective elements 78. Eventually, the sub-beams 11 a, 11 b strike the mirror M4 and propagate toward the eye 1 along separate paths.

Using diffractive or refractive elements to deviate the beam yields different results for different wavelengths. This sensitivity to wavelength complicates the use of a different-colored aiming beam and multi-spectral treatment sources. Thus, when more than one wavelength is used, such as in the case of FIG. 9, another dispersive element may be used to compensate for the difference in results. An adaptive optic may also be used to directly create matching patterns for treatment and aiming light by rewriting its configuration for each wavelength. Such a device would also allow for the straightforward adjustment of the pattern, provide simultaneous and/or sequential beam multiplication, and even be made to also focus the beam(s). A lens array or a diffractive optical element placed in the optical system provides a plurality of simultaneous spots.

FIGS. 10 and 11 are schematic diagrams of a sixth and seventh embodiments of the beam multiplier BM, respectively. The sixth and seventh embodiments utilize transmissive and reflective diffractive elements with dispersion compensation. The embodiment of FIG. 10 is substantially similar to the embodiment of FIG. 8, with the addition of a dispersion compensating element(s) 80. The embodiment of FIG. 11 is substantially similar to the embodiment of FIG. 9, with the addition of dispersion compensating elements 82. The dispersion compensating elements 80, 82 may be high dispersion prisms or tilted plates, such as those made from flint glasses or plastics.

The components described in FIGS. 5 through 11 may be used in any combination not explicitly shown here.

FIG. 12 is a schematic diagram of an eighth embodiment of the beam multiplier BM, whereby the beam multiplier BM includes a prism 84. The prism 84 rotates (as shown by the arrow) so that the optical beam 11 coming from the lens L2 strikes at a different incident angle on the prism 84 and experiences a different degree of refraction depending on how it strikes the prism 84. The prism may also be made to rotate about the optical centerline of the system to create 2-dimensional patterns. The optical beam 11 that is refracted passes through the lens L4 to reach the mirror M4.

FIG. 13 and FIG. 14 show ninth and tenth embodiments of the beam multiplier BM utilizing reflective elements. In FIG. 13, the beam multiplier BM includes 2 beamsplitters 86 and a mirror 88. The optical beam 11 reaches the first beamsplitter 86, which directs a fraction ⅓ of the optical beam 11 to the mirror M4 and allows the remaining portion of the optical beam 11 to pass to the second beamsplitter 86. The second beamsplitter 86 then directs a fraction ½ of the beam it received toward the mirror M4. The remaining optical beam 11 is reflected toward the mirror M4 by the mirror 88. Although n=3 in the example of FIG. 13 that produces a 3×1 array pattern, this is not a limitation of the invention and n may be any integer that produces the pattern. To equally distribute the optical power amongst the spots of the pattern, the reflectivity of an individual beamsplitter 86, Ri, in an array of m=n−1 beamsplitters 86, is given by the relation, Ri=(m−i+2)−1, where i is the number of the individual beamsplitter in the array, starting with i=1 for that nearest incoming light. Of course, in this configuration the reflectivity of the last beamsplitter will always be 50%. Lens L2 may serve to collimate the beam, thus allowing for the elements of the pattern to be focused onto a plane at the target by a subsequent lens, such as lens L4 shown in FIGS. 3, 5-12.

FIG. 14 shows an embodiment of the beam multiplier BM wherein the beamsplitters 86 and the mirrors 88 are arranged to produce a two-dimensional array pattern. In this embodiment, n=4 although this is not a limitation of the invention. The optical beam 11 reaches the first beamsplitter 86, which directs about ¼ of the optical beam 11 to the mirror M4 and passes the remaining portion of the optical beam 11 to the second beamsplitter 86. The second beamsplitter 86 directs another ¼ of the optical beam 11 to the mirror M4. The remaining ½ of the optical beam 11 gets reflected off two mirrors 88 to travel in a direction that is the opposite of the original direction in which the optical beam 11 entered the beam multiplier BM and is out of the plane of the illustration of FIG. 14. For simplicity, the illustration of FIG. 14 is depicted in one plane. Traveling in this reverse direction, the optical beam 11 encounters one more beamsplitter 86, which directs about ¼ of the original optical beam 11 to the mirror M4 and finally another mirror 88. The result is a 2×2 matrix pattern. Many such possibilities exist for creating other patterns. Again, here the same relation described above holds for Ri.

FIG. 15 is a second embodiment of the photomedical system 100 whereby a bundle of optical fibers 42 is used to deliver multiple spots sequentially. A fiber bundle that has its individual fibers separated at the input end can have a scanner positioned prior to fiber input such that it will direct the optical beam 11 to an individual fiber alone, ultimately providing a sequential pattern of spots by switching between the individual fibers. Alternately, the fiber bundle 42 may have more than a single fiber illuminated at a time to produce groupings of simultaneous spots. Sequential scanning of such simultaneous spots is also possible. The scanning element 30 (e.g., galvo mounted mirror(s)) is used to direct light to a single fiber of the bundle at any given time. The scanning element 30 may be spaced about one focal length away from lens L1 to provide for a telecentric scan condition, thus allowing for the injection of light into all the fibers to be on parallel paths and preserving the launch numerical aperture across the bundle. Such a bundle, or array, of fibers may be made to have its constituent fiber's input ends lie along a line for simplified single axis scanning (as shown), or be a 2-dimensional array accessed using a 2-dimensional scanner. The positions of the output ends of the fibers of the fiber bundle ultimately define the pattern.

FIG. 16 shows a third embodiment of the photomedical system 100 whereby a fiber bundle 42 is used to deliver multiple spots simultaneously. The optical beam 11 leaving the light generation unit 15 fills the individual fibers in the bundle simultaneously. Light output from this fiber bundle 42 will provide a pattern of simultaneous spots onto target tissue 1. The optical system of pattern generator assembly 18 may be made to image the face of the fiber bundle onto the target tissue (say via the intermediate image created by ophthalmic lens 19).

FIG. 17 is a fourth embodiment of the photomedical system 100 where a single fiber is used with a fiber multiplier as part of the fiber unit to provide delivery of multiple spots. A passive fiber splitter may be used to distribute light into multiple fibers simultaneously, or an active fiber switch may be used to sequentially vary which fiber conducts the light. This fiber multiplier is labeled “FM” and shown with dashed lines connecting it to the CPU 12. The output ends of the individual fibers are distributed prior to lens L2. This distribution may be maintained in the final disposition of the spots on the target tissue.

FIG. 18 shows an example of how a 2×2 fiber multiplier FM can be adjusted to change the spot pattern size and spacing. In FIG. 18, wedges 90 are driven in and out to achieve different fiber spacing. The delivered pattern is moved or altered as a result of the wedges 90 being driven in and out. Similarly, a single conical element may be driven into the center of the fiber output array, thus varying the spacing uniformly with only a single adjustment.

The device of the invention allows the treatment time to be reduced by a factor that is approximately equal to the number of pulses delivered, whether the pulses are delivered simultaneously or sequentially. Simultaneous delivery has the advantage of being faster than sequential delivery, but requires a light source capable of delivering n times the output power, wherein n is the number of elements in the pattern. Sequential delivery, while being slower than simultaneous delivery, places less demand on the power of the light source and provides flexible adjustment of the ultimate delivery pattern. Both simultaneous and sequential deliveries with the device of the invention significantly reduce the treatment time and the placement precision of the lesions when compared to the manual technique that is conventional today. The eye can be considered stationary for approximately one second, the “fixation time.” The number of spots that can be delivered sequentially in this fixation time is inversely proportional to their pulse duration.

FIGS. 19A through 19G show exemplary shapes of the spots that may be formed with the photomedical system 100. As shown, the shapes include one or more lines, a rectangle, one or more arcs, or a large arc area. These patterns/shapes may be generated, for example, by scanning a continuous beam or providing a beam-shaping device such as an adjustable aperture, or adaptive optic such as a liquid crystal matrix, or using anamorphic optical elements, such as cylindrical lenses, to create the desired shape instantaneously.

FIG. 20 is a fifth embodiment of the photomedical system 100. In this embodiment, the beam multiplier BM includes an anamorphic element AC. The anamorphic element AC allows the optical beam 11 to be anamorphically adjusted to provide an immediate beam shape on the target tissue that is different from the beam shape of the original optical beam 11. For example, even if the original optical beam 11 would have produced a circular spot, the anamorphic element AC is capable of producing the shapes shown in FIGS. 19A-19G. Conversely, even if the original optical beam 11 would have produced a non-circular spot, the anamorphic element AC is capable of producing a circular spot. The anamorphic element AC may be an adaptive, torroidal, or cylindrical optic. The anamorphic element AC is shown as connected to the CPU 12 with a dashed line because it may be either an active or a passive device.

FIG. 21 is a schematic representation of the photomedical system 100 illustrating the LIO apparatus 16. In the embodiment that is shown, the beam multiplier BM is contained in a housing that may or may not include the indirect ophthalmoscope illumination light (not shown). As described above, the beam multiplier BM may produce multiple spots either simultaneously or sequentially by a number of different means. The device is worn on the head using a headset 92, and the patient's fundus (not shown) is viewed through visualization system 98 (typically a binocular assembly) using the illumination (not shown) provided from the headset 92. An external light source may also be used for the visualization illumination. The treatment beam is also provided directly to the headset 92 via fiber optic connection 42 from the light generation unit 15. Optionally, the light generation unit 15 may also contain an aiming light 17 to display where a spot or a pattern of spots will be ultimately disposed on the target tissue. Alternatively, a pattern alignment target 96 (shown here with dotted lines to indicate it as an option) may be used in the optical path of the visualization system 98, and thus only visible to the physician. The pattern alignment target 96 may be made removable or interchangeable to allow for different patterns to be used. Each pattern alignment target 96 would need to be recognized by the system in order for it to provide an accurate representation of the treatment pattern. The physician may adjust the ultimate disposition of the beam on the patient's fundus by moving her head and/or the ophthalmic lens 19.

FIG. 22 is another schematic representation of the photomedical system 100 illustrating the LIO apparatus 16. Unlike the LIO apparatus 16 of FIG. 21, this LIO apparatus 16 shows an embodiment where the fiber unit 42 is a bundle of fibers capable of sequential and/or simultaneous spot delivery. The beam multiplier is not shown in FIG. 22 for simplicity of illustration, but the device may include or exclude the beam multiplier, as described above.

A “pattern,” as defined herein is meant to include either the simultaneous or sequential delivery of a plurality of spots, such as those shown in FIGS. 4A-4I and 19. Likewise, “spots” are herein meant to describe either illumination with a static beam or a moving (scanned) beam. Each beam need not be round, but may be of any shape. For example, a non-circular cross-section fiber optic may be used in an imaging system to provide a beam of the same non-circular cross-section on the target tissue. Furthermore, any desired shapes may be created anamorphically or by scanning the beam, as described above. It should be noted that any of the treatment and/or aiming beam generation and control techniques, and/or any of the beam multiplying and/or scanning techniques, described herein can be implemented in combination with and/or incorporated as part of the head mounted LIO headset 92 shown in FIGS. 21 and 22.

Although the invention has been described with reference to the above examples, it will be understood that modifications and variations are encompassed within the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is limited only by the following claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5480396 *Dec 9, 1994Jan 2, 1996Simon; GabrielLaser beam ophthalmological surgery method and apparatus
US20010037105 *Apr 6, 2001Nov 1, 2001Jui-Teng LinRefractive surgical laser apparatus and method
US20060004347 *Apr 1, 2005Jan 5, 2006Palomar Medical Technologies, Inc.Methods and products for producing lattices of EMR-treated islets in tissues, and uses therefor
US20060161145 *Oct 31, 2005Jul 20, 2006Massachusetts General HospitalOptical devices and methods for selective and conventional photocoagulation of the retinal pigment epithelium
US20070129775 *Sep 18, 2006Jun 7, 2007Mordaunt David HSystem and method for generating treatment patterns
US20080015553 *Jul 12, 2006Jan 17, 2008Jaime ZachariasSteering laser treatment system and method of use
US20100249760 *Sep 30, 2010Blumenkranz Mark SPatterned Laser Treatment
US20120296320 *May 25, 2012Nov 22, 2012The General Hospital CorporationOptical devices and methods for selective and conventional photocoagulation of the retinal pigment epithelium
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7566173 *Jul 9, 2007Jul 28, 2009Alcon, Inc.Multi-spot ophthalmic laser probe
US8262647Jul 29, 2009Sep 11, 2012Alcon Lensx, Inc.Optical system for ophthalmic surgical laser
US8267925Jul 29, 2009Sep 18, 2012Alcon Lensx, Inc.Optical system for ophthalmic surgical laser
US8398240Nov 2, 2010Mar 19, 2013Alcon Research, Ltd.Single-fiber multi-spot laser probe for ophthalmic endoillumination
US8409182 *Apr 2, 2013Eos Holdings, LlcLaser-assisted thermal separation of tissue
US8419721Jul 29, 2009Apr 16, 2013Alcon Lensx, Inc.Optical system for ophthalmic surgical laser
US8500725Jul 29, 2009Aug 6, 2013Alcon Lensx, Inc.Optical system for ophthalmic surgical laser
US8506559Nov 16, 2009Aug 13, 2013Alcon Lensx, Inc.Variable stage optical system for ophthalmic surgical laser
US8679100Jul 29, 2009Mar 25, 2014Alcon Lensx, Inc.Optical system with multiple scanners for ophthalmic surgical laser
US8764261Dec 3, 2010Jul 1, 2014Alcon Research, Ltd.Multi-spot laser surgical probe using faceted optical elements
US8764737Sep 5, 2008Jul 1, 2014Alcon Lensx, Inc.Precise targeting of surgical photodisruption
US8771261 *Apr 25, 2007Jul 8, 2014Topcon Medical Laser Systems, Inc.Dynamic optical surgical system utilizing a fixed relationship between target tissue visualization and beam delivery
US8852177Mar 9, 2012Oct 7, 2014Alcon Lensx, Inc.Spatio-temporal beam modulator for surgical laser systems
US8915948Feb 15, 2008Dec 23, 2014Palomar Medical Technologies, LlcMethod and apparatus for photothermal treatment of tissue at depth
US8920407Jul 29, 2009Dec 30, 2014Alcon Lensx, Inc.Optical system for ophthalmic surgical laser
US8951244Nov 15, 2010Feb 10, 2015Alcon Research, Ltd.Multi-spot laser probe
US9023016Dec 19, 2011May 5, 2015Alcon Lensx, Inc.Image processor for intra-surgical optical coherence tomographic imaging of laser cataract procedures
US9044303Dec 23, 2013Jun 2, 2015Alcon Lensx, Inc.Precise targeting of surgical photodisruption
US9050170Mar 28, 2011Jun 9, 2015Nidek Co., Ltd.Ophthalmic laser treatment apparatus
US9066784Dec 19, 2011Jun 30, 2015Alcon Lensx, Inc.Intra-surgical optical coherence tomographic imaging of cataract procedures
US20080033406 *Apr 25, 2007Feb 7, 2008Dan AndersenDynamic optical surgical system utilizing a fixed relationship between target tissue visualization and beam delivery
US20090088734 *Sep 26, 2008Apr 2, 2009Eos Holdings, LlcLaser-assisted thermal separation of tissue
US20110178583 *Jul 21, 2011Yonatan GerlitzScanning mechanism and treatment method for lllt or other light source therapy device
US20110245816 *Oct 6, 2011Nidek Co., Ltd.Ophthalmic laser treatment apparatus
US20130116672 *May 9, 2013Iridex CorporationGrid pattern laser treatment and methods
DE102010022760A1 *Jun 4, 2010Dec 8, 2011Carl Zeiss Meditec AgOphthalmologisches Gerät zur Photokoagulation oder Phototherapie und Betriebsverfahren für ein solches
EP2012696A2 *Apr 26, 2007Jan 14, 2009Optimedica CorporationDynamic optical surgical system utilizing a fixed relationship between target tissue visualization and beam delivery
WO2009036396A1 *Sep 12, 2008Mar 19, 2009James C ChenSystems, devices, and methods for photoactive assisted resection
WO2011071776A1 *Dec 3, 2010Jun 16, 2011Alcon Research, Ltd.Multi-spot laser surgical probe using faceted optical elements
Classifications
U.S. Classification351/221, 351/205, 351/246, 607/89, 606/4
International ClassificationA61N5/06, A61B3/00, A61B18/18, A61B3/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61B2018/00916, A61F9/00823, A61F2009/00897, A61B2018/2205, A61B3/0008, A61B2018/2025, A61F9/00821, A61B3/12, A61F9/008, A61F2009/00863, A61N2005/0643, A61B2019/262
European ClassificationA61F9/008C, A61F9/008C40, A61F9/008, A61B3/12, A61B3/00B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 12, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: OPTIMEDICA CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ANDERSEN, DAN E.;MORDAUNT, DAVID H.;REEL/FRAME:018882/0396
Effective date: 20070206
Aug 17, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:TRIPLEPOINT CAPITAL LLC;REEL/FRAME:024849/0463
Owner name: OPTIMEDICA CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Effective date: 20100817
Dec 16, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: TOPCON MEDICAL LASER SYSTEMS INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OPTIMEDICA CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:025514/0527
Effective date: 20100817