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U-M researchers develop high-tech laser for acne treatment, body fat removal

Say there was a device that could magically melt fat and make acne disappear. Too good to be true? Not if you're a researcher at the University of Michigan.

The university's School of Medicine has developed a laser that has the potential to melt fat without harming surrounding tissue and could be used to treat acne. The laser has a 1,708-nanometer, infrared beam that takes advantage of a unique wavelength that fat can absorb more efficiently than water. This allows it to penetrate skin with minimal harm on its way to reach and destroy deeper pockets of fat. It can also treat acne by targeting the oil-producing sebaceous glands, which are known to be involved in the development of the skin disease.

"We basically tune our laser to optical wavelength so it resonates with certain tissues like fat, not with 85 percent of the other parts like water," says Mohammed Islam, professor of electrical engineering and internal medicine at U-M.

Islam says the laser is still in development and is at least 18-24 months away from receiving FDA approval. To get to that point, the laser needs to raise commercialization funds to push forward further research and testing.

Source: Mohammed Islam, professor of electrical engineering and internal medicine at the University of Michigan
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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