A team of engineers and medical professionals at the University of Michigan, the National Science Foundation, and the Kellogg Eye Center sees eye surgery in a different way, thanks to a new laser with pulse speeds a billion times faster than an electric camera's flash. Cutting cornea flaps in laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery traditionally involves use of a mechanical blade. However, when using the femtosecond laser, the researchers discovered that the laser procedure reduces complications associated with the LASIK surgery because there is less collateral tissue damage and the laser cuts are cleaner than cuts made with microkeratone blades. Two of the Michigan researchers, Tibor Juhasz, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Ron Kurtz, an assistant professor of ophthalmology, founded InterLase Corp for commercializing the new laser. Additional applications include other eye surgery procedures and micro- machining materials. For more information, call Amber Jones at (703) 292-8070.
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