Photoreceiver enables "world's fastest" optical demultiplexed OCT for cancer detection

JUNE 8, 2009--According to Oclaro, Inc. (San Jose, CA) which just signed a deal for its New Focus business, New Focus 2117 photoreceivers are underpinning a breakthrough cancer detection system developed by scientists from Japan's Kitasato University. This optical demultiplexed (OD) optical coherence tomography (OCT) medical imaging system received the Customer Application of the Year award from National Instruments (NI) for its use of NI's PXI modular instrumentation and its LabVIEW virtual instrumentation software.

The OD-OCT system incorporates 256 custom-designed New Focus 2117 photoreceivers enabling the high-speed gathering and interpretation of data, with the optical demultiplexers simultaneously collecting an entire interferogram at different frequencies, instead of accumulating it over a certain time period. The high gain and low noise features of the New Focus detectors are critical in detecting low light level signals and generating high contrast images for accurate analysis. According to Oclaro, the New Focus photoreceiver is the market's only available 10 MHz balanced detector with adjustable gain and bandpass filters, and offers flexibility and fine control of detectors not available in competing products.

"With the innovative Oclaro New Focus balanced photoreceivers, which enabled our system to detect the 256 narrow spectrum bands of low light levels, our team at Kitasato University was able to create the fastest OCT system in the world, achieving a 60 MHz axial scan rate," said Prof. Kohji Ohbayashi, Kitasato University, Center for Fundamental Sciences.

Yves LeMaitre, General Manager of the Advanced Photonic Solutions division at Oclaro, said, "We have been manufacturing and selling the New Focus balanced detectors and photoreceivers for over ten years and have the expertise to customize our products to meet the exact requirements of such demanding applications. We are proud to be involved in this breakthrough development and congratulate Prof. Ohbayashi and his team on their achievements."

Oclaro was recently formed through the merger of Bookham and Avanex (completed in April 2009), and last week, the company agreed with Newport Corp. to an exchange of assets and cash. Under the terms of the agreements, Newport will acquire the New Focus business of Oclaro's Advanced Photonics Solutions division, along with its portfolio of products including opto-electronics, high-resolution actuators, opto-mechanics, tunable lasers, vacuum and ultraclean solutions, and OEM-engineered solutions. In exchange, Oclaro will acquire Newport's Spectra Physics high power laser diode manufacturing operation, located in Tucson, Arizona, along with $3 million in cash. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close within three to five weeks.

For details on the system, see the page on the National Instruments' site describing the award-winning setup. Find out more about New Focus 2117 photoreceiver at the New Focus site.

Posted by Barbara G. Goode,, for BioOptics World.

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