Medical SIG


The Medical Group within AILU exists to serve the needs of clinicians, researchers, engineers and equipment and service providers involved in the development, manufacture and use of equipment in medical applications, and the field of biology in general. Such equipment ranges from surgical tools, implants and prostheses; laser-based diagnostic equipment and instruments, lab-on-a-chip; laser scalpels and equipment for corrective refractive eye surgery.

The worldwide growth of medical device manufacturing has not altered even through the darkest days of the global manufacturing recession and continues at 9% per year. The UK Market is worth £11 Billion annually! Many manufacturing companies who have traditionally supplied this sector with materials and technology have seen their business untouched by the economic downturn.
According to the European medical device industry association, Eucomed, the UK has the highest number of medical technology businesses registered within Europe. ( James E F Meire, Canon Communications LLC , 2009)

The Chairman's Message by Martin Sharp

Summer 2009

The Association of Laser Users’ (AILU) Medical Special Interest Group was set up in November 2007 and was initially developed with great enthusiasm by AILU’s Technology Officer Anna O’Neill with support from the Photonics KTN. Its aim is to serve the needs of clinicians, researchers, engineers and equipment and service providers involved in the development and use of laser-based medical equipment, and/or in the use of lasers in the manufacture of devices for applications in medicine and biology in general. > Read more.

The medical group currently has over 60 members. Thanks to support from the Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), membership of the Medical Group is free.  Introductory information about the group can be also be found on the Medical Group postcard

Joining the Medical Group

Membership of the Medical Special Interest Group (SIG) is free and open to AILU members and Photonics KTN members alike.

To be added as a Medical SIG member simply contact the AILU office. If you are already an AILU member or have registered on the AILU web site, simply request to join. Otherwise, please include in the email your full contact details.

Why join?

As a member of the medical special interest group you will be alerted to workshops and other networking events, and will be given the opportunity of influencing the program of Medical SIG activities.

Also, as a member you will have access to the on-line Medical SIG Forum, where you can post a question of discussion point, respond to other peoples inputs, or simply review the existing material. However you use the forum it will be a worthwhile experience.

In all of these activities you will be connecting with other researchers, equipment suppliers and end users who share your interest in the application of lasers in medical technologies.

Networking with other groups

AILU is a partner in the Photonics KTN, with strong links to the Healthcare Technologies KTN and, through this, to other UK medical organisations. For information and links, click useful links and go to the medical sector section.

Proposed government deregulation of Class 3b and Class 4 lasers for non-surgical procedures
Click here to read the response (dated 22 May 2009) that has been published by the Prime Minister’s Office to an ePetition against the proposed de-regulation

Photonics KTN support helps establish key UK facility in stent development

By bringing together Swiss Tec AG (a Swiss manufacturer of high-end laser micromachining systems for precision cutting, drilling and welding of complex and intricate work pieces) and the Laser Processing Research Centre at Manchester University, the Photonics KTN has assisted UK academia gain its first laser stent cutting facility; a facility that offers unique clinical and technical services for testing new stent designs and processing technologies and provides researchers in the UK with new opportunities to conduct research in the bourgeoning medical product sector. ...more

Laser is the Tool

From household electronics to security holograms, lasers play a significant and positive role in everyday life. AILU examines their extensive use in medical technology.

From their uses as ray guns in science fiction and being used to threaten Mr Bond in Goldfinger, lasers have always been considered an object of suspicion in the world of fiction. However, without them, many devices that we take for granted in the modern world would not exist. For example, CD and DVD players, barcode scanners in the supermarket and the production of holograms as security features on our credit cards all require lasers to exist. Lasers in the medical arena have innumerable benign uses, from their application in device manufacture to surgical operations. ... more

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