Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Office of Research & Sponsored Programs
Modeling Laser Damage to the Human Retina

Demand for laser systems has skyrocketed in the 21st-century due to an increased understanding of the capabilities and technologies they make available within our society. In parallel, an important field of physics, Laser Bio-effects, has emerged to study how lasers interact with biological cells, tissues, organs, and whole-body systems. A solid understanding of Laser Bio-effects is critical for laser applications utilized in medicine, the establishment of safe exposure limits for industry standards and academia, and the investigation of laser light effects on living organisms.

AFIT researchers are developing improved models of the eye to support the Bio-effects community. At present, deterministic modeling and simulation tools are typically used to support experimental research into damage thresholds and laser effects. Risk management and analyses methodologies require a probabilistic model approach, but previous efforts suffered from largely biased assumptions due to limited sampling and reporting techniques. AFIT’s Probabilistic Model for Laser Damage research is focused on constructing the first-ever population based Probabilistic Model for retinal damage by means of creating a statistical model of the optical properties and dimensions of the human eye. Simulated population distributions will be utilized as input to propagation and thermal damage models for analysis.

Once complete, this exciting research will yield more accurate models of potential laser damage to the human retina. The results will also provide a solid foundation for new probabilistic models with broader biological and other applications on the horizon.

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