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LONDON, UK - 03.04.02. Fibercore Limited, the British based and world leading manufacturer of high quality optical fibers for specialty applications, is helping to develop technology which could save the lives of millions of patients with severe circulatory diseases around the world. The company’s newly developed Polyimide Coated Fibre is being used by the US medical innovations company, Intraluminal Therapeutics Inc., to develop an advanced intravenous guidance system which will help interventional cardiologists and radiologists diagnose and treat a range of ailments including coronary heart conditions.


Intraluminal is using the Fibercore HB1250P Polarisation maintaining fiber to develop two medical products, ‘Safe-Steer ™’ and ‘Safe-Cross ™’ because of its highly consistent optical characteristics, high flexibility and reduced diameter. By using a thin polyimide coating (around 10 µm), Fibercore has produced a highly flexible, consistent diameter fiber which can be sterilized, and at a total diameter of 145µm, is more than 100 µm less than traditional acrylate coated fibers.


Fibercore’s decision to coat one of its high quality specialty use fibers with polyimide has made it ideal for clinical use by raising the temperature ceiling from around 85 degrees Celsius to around 400 degrees – enabling the fiber to be sterilized without damaging it. The consistent small diameter and polarisation maintenance of the fiber allows doctors to use the latest OCR technology - using polarized light and interferometry to probe blocked or obstructed arteries which cannot be navigated under x-ray.


A key consideration when selecting Fibercore’s fiber for use in this area was the highly consistent diameter, ensuring that the fiber was small enough to fit within a 345 µm catheter –less than 0.014 or 14/1,000 of an inch. Flexibility and temperature resistant coating is also central to using the fiber in a clinical environment.


Using Fibercore’s product, Intraluminal has been able to obtain CE approval for its ‘Safe-Steer’ and ‘Safe-Cross’ application for use in Europe and the Far East, and is currently pending FDA approval in the United States. Using the specialty fiber, the company hopes to develop its ‘Safe-Cross™’ innovation which will enable interventional cardiologists and radiologists to diagnose and treat arterial problems in a single procedure.


Managing Director of Fibercore Limited, Dr. Chris Emslie says, ‘We are delighted that our specialty polarisation maintaining fiber is being used to assist the development of clinical innovations which could help millions of patients around the world. Using a polyimide coating, we have built on our reputation for manufacturing unrivalled quality fibers to develop a flexible, strong and heat resistant product which has a diameter of 145 µm.’


John Neet, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Intraluminal says, ‘Using Fibercore’s fibers we have been able to develop one of the most significant technological developments in addressing the last frontier of angioplasty, the totally occluded artery. Our key considerations in selecting a fiber vendor were cost and quality, areas which none of the other companies we tried could match Fibercore.’


‘Fibercore’s Polyimide coated fiber also meets our criteria for a high quality, low diameter fiber that has inherent strength and a high degree of flexibility. They also have a consistency of optical performance and diameter which makes them ideal for this type of Optical Coherence Reflectometry application.’


ENDS


For more information about Fibercore Limited, please contact Lyndon Johnson at Emmett & Smith on +44 (0) 207 831 2999 or via email at Lyndon.Johnson@esl.org.uk

Notes to Editor.


About Fibercore Limited

Fibercore Limited, the UK based speciality optical fiber manufacturer, has been manufacturing and developing specialist optical fibers for the fibre amplifier, fiber optic gyroscope, dense wavelength division multiplexing, and fundamental research markets for the last two decades. In 2001 it was Britain’s leading manufacturing business and was awarded the Queen’s award for Enterprise: International Trade.

Fibercore Limited is a UK-based subsidiary of Scientific Atlanta Inc., and has no relationship with any similarly named companies in the United States or Europe.

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