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ALPhANOV realizes a compact picosecond laser prototype at 780 nm


The compact laser prototype has been developed in view of medical applications for the diagnosis of prostate cancer.


The diagnosis of prostate cancer is today an invasive procedure realized through a protocol of successive biopsies, because of the lack of imaging techniques able to detect tumors in the early stages of cancer. Time-resolved fluorescence measurement is a particularly interesting approach for tumor localization. The principle of this measurement consists of injecting the patient with a near-infrared fluorescent tracer which will accumulate in a privileged way in the tumors, and then   locating this tracer by means of an optical probe connected to a pulsed laser. The coupling between this pulsed laser and a chain of time-of-flight measurements makes it possible to excite the fluorescent tracer and to precisely locate it deep in the tissue.


Benefiting from the support of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, promoted by CEA Tech and implemented with the University Hospital of Bordeaux and the IMOTION laboratory (University of Bordeaux), this solution allows to precisely address the biopsy locations. Nevertheless, it requires two complementary steps:

  • on one hand the availability of fluorescent markers of the prostate, injectable to humans (indocyanine green ...)
  • on the other hand the integration of a bi-modal ultrasound and laser acquisition system for its implementation in a clinical environment. This last point involves in particular the development of a compact pulsed laser that meets both the specifications of the fluorescence measurement and the current medical standards and legislation.


As part of this project, ALPhANOV has developed a compact laser prototype that perfectly meets this specific need and delivers picosecond pulses at 780 nm at repetition rate of 80 MHz, by using a technological brick matured by the Gironde start-up Irisiome Solutions.


Description of the different structures involved:


Founded in 2007, ALPhANOV is the center of the Lasers & Microwaves French Cluster ALPHA-RLH, located in Bordeaux, France. ALPhANOV aims to boost innovation through collaborations between research and industry. It offers multiple modes of action which enable it to act all along the value chain: collaborative projects, feasibility studies, access to shared technical facilities, dedicated resources for companies and laboratories, technical support of entrepreneurship. It contributes to the creation and development of companies by providing innovative solutions that meet their expectations. It offers an array of services and products in optics and lasers with four fields of expertise: laser processes and micro-machining, laser sources and fiber components, laser and optical systems, photonics and health.

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At CEA, identified by Thomson Reuters as the most innovative public research organization in Europe, CEA Tech creates technological innovation to improve the competitiveness of French companies through product performance and differentiation. CEA Tech develops and distributes generic technologies that cover the majority of the field from traditional industrial applications to the most advanced "high-tech" sectors and address all sizes of companies. It employes this dynamic in all French regions by supporting their local partners in their innovation process, thus contributing to the creation of value and sustainable jobs in the area, making them closer to industrial needs.

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IRISIOME is a world leader in manufacturing of aesthetic laser machines for dermatological applications and a supplier of laser systems with revolutionary laser technology. This Girondine start-up has developed a unique technology that allows high versatility of its laser sources in terms of pulse duration, repetition frequency and wavelength thanks to pulse carving generation. This technique is perfectly in line with the logic of integration of laser sources in OEM.

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IMOTION (Molecular Imaging and Innovative Therapies in Oncology) is a research unit of the University of Bordeaux (EA 7435), working at the intersection between Oncology and Imaging. The objective of IMOTION is to improve diagnosis through molecular imaging and to offer new therapies based on imaging and new technologies.



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