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Patent highlights

18 Mar 2003

The pick of this week's patent applications including an implantable light source for treating internal tissues and organs.

•  Title: Method of and device for therapeutic illumination of internal organs and tissues
Applicant: AMIT Technology Science and Medicine, Israel
International application number: WO 03/020103
Patent application WO 03/020103 describes an implantable light source that can be used to treat internal tissues, organs and even blood. According to the authors, their device can be used for short, intermediate or long-term light therapy and can treat "inflammatory, arthritic, allergic, musculoskeletal and parasitic pathologies."

The implanted device can emit a wide range of wavelengths and control modules outside the body communicate with it to modify the power and modulation of the light during therapy. "Light therapy parameters can be precisely modulated in response to the physiological status of the patient, feedback from the tissues being treated or other external stimuli," say the authors.

A fiber-optic attachment is used to illuminate remote locations within tissues. "Direct phototherapy of the blood is effected by implantable intravascular light sources, optical fiber conduits, a unique light-source-bearing intravascular tubular platform or a novel, light-emitting vascular prosthesis," say the authors.

•  Title: Six to ten kHz or greater gas discharge laser system
Applicant: Cymer, US
International application number: WO 03/021731
Improved long-term operation of pulsed gas discharge lasers is the possible benefit of an invention outlined in application WO 03/021731. The idea involves placing a suction fan close to the laser anode, in order to increase the gas flow. According to the authors, laser systems such as KrF, ArF and F2 operating at repetition rates between 6kHz and 10kHz could benenfit. These lasers are typically used in production lines for applications such as photolithography.

•  Title: Laser with self-circulatory gas flow
Applicant: QinetiQ, UK
International application number: WO 03/021729
UK-based QinetiQ is trying to patent a laser-cavity design that ensures a gaseous lasing medium flows around the cavity in one direction. The design comprises electrodes that excite the gas and a barrier placed adjacent to the active region. "Net momentum is imparted to the gas in the active region upon electrical discharge being supplied to the active region of gas," say the authors. This forces the gas to flow around the active region in one direction, which the authors say aids heat removal from the gas. The barrier also impedes gas flow in the opposite direction.

Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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