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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An overview of three promising mechanical, optical, and biochemical engineering approaches to improve selective photothermolysis of refractory port wine stains.


During the last three decades, several laser systems, ancillary technologies, and treatment modalities have been developed for the treatment of port wine stains (PWSs). However, approximately half of the PWS patient population responds suboptimally to laser treatment. Consequently, novel treatment modalities and therapeutic techniques/strategies are required to improve PWS treatment efficacy. This overview therefore focuses on three distinct experimental approaches for the optimization of PWS laser treatment. The approaches are addressed from the perspective of mechanical engineering (the use of local hypobaric pressure to induce vasodilation in the laser-irradiated dermal microcirculation), optical engineering (laser-speckle imaging of post-treatment flow in laser-treated PWS skin), and biochemical engineering (light- and heat-activatable liposomal drug delivery systems to enhance the extent of post-irradiation vascular occlusion).

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