Paola Singer, MassDevice staff
It’s chilly and rainy here in New York City, but that’s not deterring visitors to the Medical Design & Manufacturing convention at the Javits Center.
A theater called “Innovation Briefs,” where industry experts discuss new technologies, is drawing crowds eager to learn about an ultrafast laser from Raydiance Corp.
The Petaluma, Calif.-based company claims the device will revolutionize medical and industrial procedures, including the manufacture of micro-devices like stents, guide wires, valves and needles. Their Ultra Light MD is an ultrashort pulse laser that can ablate any material in femtoseconds (one femtosecond is a millionth of a billionth of a second) without producing any heat. It’s also completely programmable and controlled through a laptop, using proprietary software.
Traditional lasers produce heat and can burn or even destroy the area surrounding the target. But when laser pulses get short enough, athermal ablation occurs.
In the case of stent manufacturing, thermal lasers produce heat-affected zones that must be cleaned up using costly procedures. With the Smart Light MD, only an ultrasonic bath with Ph-balanced soap is required.
Ultrashort pulse lasers have been around since the 1980s, but because they were expensive and larger than most Manhattan apartments, they were relegated to laboratory environments.
Raydiance came up with a compact, more affordable version that’s marketed as the only commercial-ready laser of its kind.
The applications of such a commercial cold laser could be endless, the company says: Painless tattoo removal, eye surgery that doesn’t damage the cornea, light-therapy for treating cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and the removal of tooth plaque without damaging enamel. Nifty.