Background: Short pulse duration (∼0.1-5 milliseconds) CO2 lasers are perceived as excellent tools for vaporization of craters arrays in fractional skin resurfacing.
Objectives: To present a thermo-mechanical ablation technology, which affects tissue identically to fractional CO2 lasers, however at a fraction of the size and cost of a laser.
Material and methods: The new technology is based on heating an oscillating array of thin metallic rods to a temperature of 400°C and advancing the rods into tissue down to a precise pre-selected depth for a duration of 0.1-5 milliseconds. As a result, an array of crater is vaporized with identical properties of those produced by CO2 lasers. An ex vivo test was performed with a thermo- metallic rod array prototype.
Results: Arrays of 10 × 10 vaporized micro-craters of 350 micron diameter, 200 micron depth have been produced with lateral thermal damage of 80 micron while thermal damage below craters was 80-250 micron.
Conclusions: A resonating thermo-mechanical array of high temperature (350-400°C) rods is capable of producing an array of craters identical to those produced with pulsed CO2 lasers.