Enhanced laser thrombolysis with photomechanical drug delivery: An in vitro study

Han Qun Shangguan, Kenton W. Gregory, Lee W. Casperson, Scott A. Prahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Current techniques for laser thrombolysis are limited because they can not completely clear thromboric occlusions in arteries, typically leaving residual thrombus on the walls of the artery. The objective of this study was to investigate the possibility of using photomechanical drug delivery to enhance laser thrombolysis by delivering drugs into mural thrombus during laser thrombolysis. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Three experimental protocols were performed in vitro to quantitatively compare the effectiveness of thrombolysis by 1) constant infusion of drug, 2) laser thrombolysis, and 3) photomechanical drug delivery. A fiber-optic flushing catheter delivered drug (a solution of 1 μm fluorescent microspheres) and light (a 1 μs pulsed dye laser) into a gelatin-based thrombus model. The process of laser-thrombus interaction was visualized using flash photography and the laser-induced pressure waves were measured using an acoustic transducer. Results: Lumen sizes generated by mechanically manipulating the catheter through the thrombus were smaller than those generated by laser ablation. The microspheres could be driven several hundred microns into the mural thrombus. Conclusion: Photomechanical drug delivery has potential for enhancement of laser thrombolysis. Two mechanisms seem to be involved in photomechanical drug delivery: 1) mural deposition of the drug at the ablation site and 2) increased exposure of the thrombus surface area to the drug.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • High-speed photography
  • Hydrodynamic flow
  • Localized drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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