Mirsurg - Making change possible

Area of relevance: 
Information and Communication
1 June 2008 - 31 May 2011
Max Born Institute - Forschung Verbund Berlin
Funded by: 
European Commission, EU


The MIRSURG project, comprising researchers from 9 European institutes and companies, is focused on development of a laser source that will enable minimally invasive neurosurgery. The laser should emit at a wavelength near 6.45 µm and provide high single pulse energy and average power. The penetration depth at this wavelength will be comparable to the cell size (several micrometers), which will make it possible to avoid collateral damage when ablating the tissue. Earlier tests carried out in the USA with free electron lasers (FELs) have proved that brain surgery performed at a wavelength of 6.45 µm leads to good results. Such lasers generate coherent radiation with very high brilliancy. For applications in biomedicine however, FELs are not practical since they are coupled to huge and expensive accelerators. Therefore, it is important to develop new technologies to replace the FELs with table-top solid-state photonic sources. The main strategy is to exploit nonlinear optical techniques (OPO) in combination with novel near-IR laser pump sources (near 1 and 2 µm) and new materials (e.g. orientation patterned GaAs) to obtain an unprecedented energy level (10 mJ) near 6.45 µm at a repetition rate of 100 Hz (an average power of 1 W). The systems will provide improved control and higher accuracy for treatment and prevention either at individual cell level or cellular structures depending on the pulse shapes utilized.