Germany-based Carl Zeiss Meditec announced it will launch the newly developed VisuMax system for laser keratome (corneal sugery) applications later this year. The system uses a femtosecond fiber laser, the FCPA Jewel, developed by IMRA America Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich., research and development company owned by Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd. of Kariya City, Japan. The companies have spent several years working together to develop the VisuMax. Lasik (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis), the most common vision correction surgery procedure, involves two primary steps: the initial cut of a corneal lamella -- the so-called flap -- and the actual correction of the refractive error via excimer laser ablation. Carl Zeiss Meditec received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to market the laser keratome applications of the VisuMax system last year. Zeiss made the announcement in conjunction with the annual ASCRS (American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery) meeting, being held this week in San Diego.