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Role of laser-induced plasma formation in pulsed cellular microsurgery and micromanipulation.


We investigate experimentally the physical processes underlying pulsed cellular microsurgery and micromanipulation using nanosecond 532- and 1064-nm laser pulses focused at high numerical aperture. We find that the laser parameters employed for many microirradiation techniques are congruent with those leading to optical breakdown in water. We determine the size and shape of the laser-induced plasma, pressure of the emitted shock wave, and size and energy of the cavitation bubble formed by the expanding plasma. We discuss implications of the results for biophysical microirradiation procedures.

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