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Penetration of Laser Light at 808 and 980 nm in Bovine Tissue Samples

Photomedicine and Laser Surgery

Donald E. Hudson, BSEE, Doreen O. Hudson, BS, CET, James M. Wininger, BSEE, and Brian D. Richardson, BA, JD

4/8/2013 - Donald E. Hudson, Doreen O. Hudson, James M. Wininger, and Brian D. Richardson. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. April 2013, 31(4): 163-168. doi:10.1089/pho.2012.3284.


The purpose of this study was to compare the penetration of 808 and 980 nm laser light through bovine tissue samples 18–95 mm thick.

Background data:

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is frequently used to treat musculoskeletal pathologies. Some of the therapeutic targets are several centimeters deep.


Laser light at 808 and 980 nm (1 W/cm2) was projected through bovine tissue samples ranging in thickness from 18 to 95 mm. Power density measurements were taken for each wavelength at the various depths.


For 808 nm, 1 mW/cm2 was achieved at 3.4 cm, but for 980 nm, 1 mW/cm2 was achieved at only 2.2 cm depth of tissue.


It was determined that 808 nm of light penetrates as much as 54% deeper than 980 nm light in bovine tissue.

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