Minimizing superficial thermal injury using bilateral cryogen spray cooling during laser reshaping of composite cartilage grafts

Cheng Jen Chang, Sally M.H Cheng, Lynn L. Chiu, Brian J F Wong, Keen Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Composite cartilage grafts were excised from New Zealand rabbit ears. Flat composite grafts (of cartilage and overlying skin graft on both surfaces) were obtained from each ear and cut into a rectangle measuring 50 mm by 25 mm (x by y) with an average thickness of approximately 1.3 mm (z), skin included. Specimens were manually deformed with a jig and maintained in this new position during laser illumination. The composite cartilage grafts were illuminated on the concave surface with an Nd:YAG laser (1,064 nm, 3 mm spot) at 10 W, 20 W, 30 W, 40 W, 50 W. Cryogen spray cooling (CSC) was applied to both exterior (convex) and interior (concave) surfaces of the tissue to reduce thermal injury to the grafts. CSC was delivered: (1) in controlled applications (cryogen released when surface reached 40°C, and (2) receiving only laser at above wattage, no CSC [representing the control group]. The specimens were maintained in a deformation for 15 minutes after illumination and serially examined for 14 days. The control group with no CSC caused injury to all specimens, ranging from minor to full thickness epidermal thermal injury. Although most levels of laser and CSC yielded a high degree of reshaping over an acute time period, after 14 days specimens exposed to 30 W, 40 W, 50 W retained shape better than those treated at 10 W and 20 W. The specimens exposed to 50 W with controlled CSC retained its new shape to the highest degree over all others, and thermal injury was minimal. In conclusion, combinations of laser and CSC parameters were effective and practical for the reshaping of composite cartilage grafts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryogen spary cooling
  • Laser
  • Rabbit ear
  • Reshaping
  • Thermal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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