In 1998, a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed a simple solution to a seemingly impossible problem – how to reflect and channel CO2 laser energy through a hollow-core flexible fiber. Their work was cited in Science magazine’s “Breakthrough of the Year” feature in 1999, placing second only to the Human Genome Project.
The most compelling application of this breakthrough is its use to treat patients with afflictions ranging from cancer to infertility. CO2 laser energy has long been considered the gold standard for safety and precision due to its precise interaction with tissue. This energy is readily absorbed in water (the main component of living cells), allowing it to efficiently vaporize tissue. Efficient vaporization results in minimal thermal spread and reduced injury to surrounding healthy tissue. Prior to this discovery, CO2 laser could only be delivered through large, cumbersome line-of-sight equipment, which limited its use to only a few clinical treatments.
The Intelliguide™ Laser System enables surgeons to use CO2 energy in microsurgical, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted approaches with its revolutionary flexible-fiber delivery platform. Since commercial production began in 2006, our technology has been used to treat tens-of-thousands of patients, while improving outcomes and enhancing lives.
Other advanced energy devices –different laser wavelengths, radiofrequency electrosurgical energy, ultrasonic vibrations, or plasma beams – may each have their own distinct benefits for surgeons, but none can claim the sub-millimeter precision of CO2 laser energy. Our laser’s depth of tissue effect is almost 400 times less than that of some common alternative medical lasers, making it the most precise for surgical applications.
Today, the company is committed to continue this tradition of invention by building upon this core technology to deliver advanced surgical solutions for surgeons and their patients.