Intraocular lens fragmentation using femtosecond laser: an in vitro study

Chandra Bala, Jeffrey Shi, Kerrie Meades

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To transect intraocular lenses (IOLs) using a femtosecond laser in cadaveric human eyes. To determine the optimal in vitro settings, to detect and characterize gasses or particles generated during this process. 

    Methods: A femtosecond laser was used to transect hydrophobic and hydrophilic acrylic lenses. The settings required to enable easy separation of the lens fragment were determined. The gasses and particles generated were analysed using gas chromatography mass spectrometer (GC-MS) and total organic carbon analyzer (TOC), respectively. 

    Results: In vitro the IOL fragments easily separated at the lowest commercially available energy setting of 1 μJ, 8-μm spot, and 2-µm line separation. No particles were detected in the 0.5- to 900-µm range. No significant gasses or other organic breakdown by products were detected at this setting. At much higher energy levels 12 µJ (4 x 6 µm spot and line separation) significant pyrolytic products were detected, which could be harmful to the eye. In cadaveric explanted IOL capsule complex the laser pulses could be applied through the capsule to the IOL and successfully fragment the IOL. 

    Conclusion: IOL transection is feasible with femtosecond lasers. Further in vivo animal studies are required to confirm safety. 

    Translational relevance: In clinical practice there are a number of large intraocular lenses that can be difficult to explant. This in-vitro study examines the possibility of transecting the lasers quickly using femtosecond lasers. If in-vivo studies are successful, then this innovation could help ophthalmic surgeons in IOL explantation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8
    Number of pages7
    JournalTranslational vision science & technology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


    • intraocular lens explantation
    • cataract surgery
    • lens transection
    • hydrophilic acrylic lens
    • hydrophobic acrylic lens


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