The relationships between the destructive effects of Q-switched Nd/YAG laser pulses and a number of experimental parameters were studied for various target materials including in particular excised, fixed samples of human trabecular meshwork. The laser parameters altered were the pulse energy, the convergence angle of the focused beam, and the position of the focus of the beam relative to the target's axial position. The main finding was that it was possible to make deep holes, of a diameter less than 100 micron, in virtually transparent samples of trabecular meshwork with a laser delivery system of 6 degrees convergence and pulse energies of 14 mJ or more. The relevance of this and the other experimental results to the development of a reliable system for performing internal trabeculotomies for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma is presented.
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