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Spire Receives NIH Grant for Fiber Laser

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BEDFORD, Mass., Sept. 30 -- Spire Corp. announced today it has been awarded a $124,500 grant to develop a new fiber laser-based instrument for glaucoma surgery. Successful demonstration of the technology in The Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant, from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), can lead to a $1.2 million Phase II effort.

Spire said its fiber laser-based instrument provides 2.71 micrometer radiation, which is in the mid-infrared region of the spectrum where water strongly absorbs, making it an ideal surgical tool for tissue. The flexibility of the fiber allows the laser light to be easily delivered to the surgical site. This instrument will have applications in laser trabecular ablation and laser sclerectomy, as well as other glaucoma procedures. The company said fiber lasers are expected to lead to a new generation of laser-based surgical instruments.

The laser will be used in preclinical in vitro procedures at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine by Joel S. Schuman, MD, professor and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, and his research team during the Phase I study. Kurt J. Linden, senior scientist at Spire, said, "With our new 2.71 micrometer fiber laser instrument we are able to provide an entirely new, portable laser instrument that has many advantages over current laser instruments. We see other applications beyond ophthalmology, such as otolaryngology, and other micromedical and microsurgical procedures."

Roger Little, President and CEO of Spire, said the award is a significant step forward for its Biophotonics Life Sciences group and wholly owned subsidiary Bandwidth Semiconductor, which together will carry out the work.

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Sep 2003
The branch of medicine involved in the study of the anatomy, functions, diseases and treatments of the eye.
fiber lasersfiber opticsglaucomamicromedicinemicrosurgeryNews & FeaturesophthalmologyotolaryngologySPIRElasers

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