Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Ashwin Parthasarathy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ramesh Ayyala, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christopher Passaglia, Ph.D.


Instrumentation, Phacolysis, Preclinical, Simulation, Surgical


The current gold standard of cataract removal surgery is phacoemulsification systems. These are divided based on the type of devices used; both are considered equal but with different delivery modes. These delivery methods are either acoustic or light-based. However, these devices pose two hurdles for impoverished areas: high costs and heavy resource usage. This thesis proposes a novel phacoemulsification system is based on the low-cost, off-shelf laser diodes that implement light-based phacoemulsification of cataracts. The system is tested for viability over two methods: finite element analysis and experimentation on various phantoms. Simulations on the device have occurred on the COMSOL software to test the best parameter range for both temperature and pressure within the cataract and tissue damage on the cornea. From this, the most favorable power settings were between 1000 milliwatts and 2000 milliwatts. When working with the experimentation, the media used were gelatin phantoms and walnut kernels. The experiments showed that when the laser was continuously lasing, the liquified or burned areas were much more extensive than when the laser was pulsed. These results show that the device has the possibility of being a viable surgical device, although human cataracts are needed to prove that this device properly works.