March 13, 2006

SpectRx, Inc., a medical technology company focusing on the detection and treatment of diabetes and cancer, was recently issued U.S. Patent No. 7,006,220 (“Apparatus and method for determining tissue characteristics”), expanding the company’s portfolio of disease-detection technologies. This patent teaches a method of determining characteristics of tissues both on the body’s surface and within the body, where “excitation electromagnetic radiation is used to illuminate a target tissue and electromagnetic radiation returned from the target tissue is analyzed to determine the characteristics of the target tissue.” The patent discusses a number of other patented methods in the field of tissue irradiation, but states that several of those methods include expensive components that have “prevented [those] techniques from being used in typical clinical settings.” This patent specifically claims an instrument with a rotatable inner core with a “plurality of interrogation devices” mounted within so that those devices may be rotated to allow that array to take sequential images while minimizing the cross between the individual detection fibers. Guided Therapeutics, Inc, a subsidiary of SpectRx, currently has a non-invasive cervical cancer detection device in the clinical trial stage, wherein light reflected from the cervix allows for non-invasive detection of cancers and precancerous tissues. Mark Faupel, President and COO of Guided Therapeutics, has stated that the patent “may be useful for detecting cervical disease and possibly other cancers as well.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,006,220: link
SpectRx Press Release: link
Discussion of the LightTouch™ Technology; link


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Mark Reichel
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I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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