BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE - As an alternative to the standard excimer laser used for PRK, we investigated the ablation rate at 213 nm of PMMA, and human corneas under controlled hydration.
STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS - The output of a frequency-quintupled Nd:YAG laser (213 nm) was transformed into a quasi-Gaussian beam. PMMA and corneal lenticules maintained under controlled hydration were ablated until perforation was detected.
RESULTS - The ablation rate of PMMA and cornea at 213 nm were similar to that at 193 nm when radiant exposure was below 200 mJ/cm2 and increased gradually between one and two times faster than that at 193 nm when radiant exposure was > 200 mJ/ cm2.
CONCLUSIONS - PMMA and cornea ablation at 213 nm are similar to that at 193 nm and are different from that at 248 nm. The difference between PMMA and cornea ablation rates should be considered when using PMMA to test ablated diopter and smoothness for photorefractive surgery.