Optical fibres are often associated with the telecoms industry, but the technology has migrated through into many different application sectors.
Researchers in the United States have developed a UV light-enabled catheter for fixing congenital heart defects non-invasively. In the near future, the device, which has been described in Science Translational Medicine, could enable doctors to fix holes in the heart without needing open surgery.
According to a report released in October by Transparency Market Research, the global medical laser systems market will be worth $2 billion by 2018 at a 12.5 per cent compound annual growth rate.
Among the several product types listed in the study, the diode laser segment held the largest market share in 2011 and is anticipated to maintain its leading position during the forecast horizon. This can be attributed to the fact that diodes are used for a wide range of medical applications, such as photodynamic therapy and aesthetic treatments, according to the report.
As sensors and lasers become more freely available to artists, many have jumped at the chance to make their art interactive. Thanks to devices such as consumer-priced depth sensors, there are now a plethora of art installations and entertainment venues where members of the public can simply use their hands, legs and arms to manipulate lights and lasers in an art installation and make pretty shapes.