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  • Spire to Develop Fiber Laser for Myringotomy
Sep 2007
Spire Corp., a Bedford, Mass., developer of solar energy, biomedical and optoelectronics technology, announced it has received a two-year, $870,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to develop a high-power fiber laser capable of performing myringotomy and middle-ear surgery without the need for anesthesia. The grant has been funded for $438,000 for the first year. The second year of funding is subject to the availability of funds and the satisfactory progress of the project. Myringotomy is a common procedure, typically performed in children under age five, in which the tympanic membrane (eardrum) is punctured to drain fluid and reduce the risk of ear infection. Approximately 1 million children undergo this procedure every year in the US. In the first phase of the project, Spire developed a 1-W fiber laser and demonstrated the capability of forming controlled openings in animal fascia tissue -- 10 times the power of the Phase I laser, making it a candidate for replacing conventional scalpel surgery (which requires anesthesia) with a procedure resulting in less trauma, Spire said. The new myringotomy instrument will be evaluated at the Children's Hospital in Boston under the direction of Dennis Poe, MD.

A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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