Michael Larson, president of Tissue Fusion, displays the company's laser tissue fusion device.
Michael Larson, president of Tissue Fusion, displays the company’s laser tissue fusion device.

A laser tissue fusion device–that will make surgeries faster, simpler and reduce side effects–has moved closer to production with a license agreement between Tissue Fusion LLC and the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office.

Tissue Fusion President and mechanical and aerospace engineer Michael Larson (also El Pomar Endowed Chair of Engineering and Innovation at UCCS), and his team have developed this laser-based device for closing wounds during nasal surgery.

Thus far, wounds from nasal surgeries have been closed using staples, sutures or intranasal packing, all of which can be dangerous as well as uncomfortable for the patient, possibly causing infection, scarring or other side effects.

Although lasers have been used for decades in place of scalpels to cut tissues in some procedures, they have not been widely used in nasal surgeries because of the complexity of the laser (different parameters for different tissues) and the exceptional surgical skill required to use them.

Designed specifically for use in septoplasty and rhinoplasty, the device generates heat and pressure to fuse tissue membranes together, using pre-set parameters to make the device easy to use by a surgeon or a trained medical technician.

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Currently, Tissue Fusion is  gathering data on the efficacy and safety of the device in controlled trials, according to a CU Technology Transfer Office news release. 

Pending results, the company will seek approval from the FDA for clinical use in ear, nose and throat procedures.

“Our Florida-based investor group is super excited about the prospects for Tissue Fusion, and the financial commitment from the State is further testimony that an entrepreneurial culture is alive and flourishing in Colorado,” said Tissue Fusion CEO Randall Bast, in an email to the Business Journal.

In 2013, Tissue Fusion received a State of Colorado Early-Stage Company grant under the Bioscience Discovery and Evaluation Grant program.

“The technology licensed to TissueFusion has been a great example of Colorado’s innovation infrastructure, since it represents years of development efforts at MIND Studios in Colorado Springs, as well as a state grant to bring it closer to commercial readiness,” said Molly Markley of CU’s Technology Transfer Office.

“We are looking forward to following the company’s progress as it moves towards FDA approval.”