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Patent highlights

13 Oct 2003

The pick of this week’s patent applications including a method for measuring the eye’s internal pressure.

•  Title: A non-contact tonometer
Applicant: Eric Technologies Corp, Canada
International application number: WO 03/082087
A Canadian company is trying to patent a method for measuring the eye’s internal pressure. The first step is to send a range of frequencies towards the eye, which causes it to vibrate. A laser velocimeter measures how the surface of the eye responds to the vibration. The inventors also use an interferometer to measure characteristics such as the eye’s axial length and volume as well as the thickness of the cornea.

•  Title: Reduction of damage initiation density in fused silica optics via UV laser conditioning
Applicant: The Regents of the University of California, US
International application number: WO 03/082761
Shining low levels of UV light below 360 nm onto the surface of fused-silica optics can reduce the number of catastrophic defects on their surface, according to the authors of patent application WO 03/082761. “When the optic is then irradiated at its high fluence design limit, the concentration of catastrophic damage sites that form of the surface of the optic is greatly reduced,” said the authors.

•  Title: Frequency identification with frequency locker
Applicant: Bookham Technology, UK
International application number: WO 03/083418
Bookham Technology is looking to patent a method to identify the frequency of a laser. The technique involves sending the output of the laser through a set of optical filters. The power transmitted by the filters is measured and normalized with respect to a reference power. “This set of measurements is then compared with points in a calibration table, which identifies the frequency of the laser,” said the inventors.

•  Title: NIR-fluorescent cyanine dyes, their synthesis and biological use
Applicant: The General Hospital Corporation, US
International application number: WO 03/082988
Scientists in the US are trying to patent a way to synthesize water-soluble NIR fluorochromes that are used in biomedical imaging. The inventors say their highly stable cyanine compounds have a high quantum yield and are ideal for in vivo imaging of tumors.

•  Title: Method and spectrometer for measuring a Raman spectrum
Applicant: Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus, Finland
International application number: WO 03/083419
The optical set-up described in patent application WO 03/083419 is ideal for measuring a broadband Raman spectrum, according to the patent’s authors. The system fires at least two monochromatic beams on to different sites of a target, one site for each wavelength. Silicon-based detectors then measure the radiation emitted from each site. The authors say this set-up enables the use of different measuring-head construction.

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