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May 31, 2006, 12:00:00 am
FiberTech welcomes Professor Awazu, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, as a Technical Advisor and starts research and development of next-generation medical laser devices

Summary

A medical device company FiberTech Co., Ltd. (head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Shinya Miike, hereinafter “FiberTech”) has announced that it has welcomed Dr. Kunio Awazu, Professor, Quantum and Energy Engineering, Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, as a Technical Advisor and started research and development activities for applying Dr. Awazu’s study results based on Free Electron Laser to the medical field. This is a step towards future expansion of FiberTech’s core business technology of ultra-thin fiberscope and FiberTech expects to launch new medical devices in the next few years.


Background
Myocardial and cerebral infarction occurs when blood clots or plaques lodge in the blood vessel and obstruct blood flow. Number of deaths from myocardial and cerebral infarction has been on increase and death rates for these diseases are the second and third highest following cancer. FiberTech is a medical device company who manufactures and sells ultra-thin fiberscopes. It offers fiberscopes of less than 1mm in outside diameter to medical institutions for examination inside the blood vessel. FiberTech has now started to develop a new system that allows both diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases, by integrating FiberTech’s technology for examination inside the coronary and carotid arteries, and Dr. Awazu’s technology of Free Electron Laser that removes atherosclerosis (a disease in which fatty material such as cholesterol ester is deposited on the wall of the blood vessel and cause vascular obstruction) in a non-invasive and selective manner. A main characteristic of Free Electron Laser is that it can emit light wavelength that have the effect of separating molecules combining cholesterol and fatty acid. It has already been confirmed that cholesterol dissolves inside the isolated blood vessel. This system is a promising next-generation therapeutic device that, when completed, will become a powerful remedy for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.


Summary of Study
There are some remaining issues for practical application of this system. First, the current model of Free Electron Laser system is huge so it is necessary to downsize the system by means of focusing the wavelength, etc. Secondly, the laser probe will need to be introduced to a specific area through the blood vessel for practical use. To achieve this, FiberTech will make the best of its knowledge on optical fibers and its ultra-thin technology. FiberTech expects to start animal studies and move to the phase of medical device development in a few years.

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