|Reflective couplers from LightWorks Optics are part of an illumination system for a laser-based surgical tool.|
From gastrointestinal endoscopes and arthroscopic devices to x-ray scanning machines and surgical robots, many medical devices require optical systems and assemblies. Recognizing that advanced optical technologies represent the wave of the present and the future, LightWorks Optics (Tustin, CA) concentrates on offering integrated optical systems for a range of applications—including in the medical device arena.
Founded in 1997 by Daniel Barber, Roger Johnston, and Donald Small—optical engineers with more than 50 years of combined experience—the company decided to focus on optics products and services to solve the design and manufacturing needs of customers in the aerospace, defense, commercial, and biomedical sectors. “We offer high-precision designs for optics components and systems, including visible, infrared, and laser-based optical systems and subassemblies,” explains Lisa Belodoff, LightWorks Optics’s director of marketing. “We do it all in a high-volume production facility equipped with environmentally controlled cleanrooms certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards.”
Offering precision components and optics systems as well as testing and manufacturing capabilities, the company provides a range of services, Belodoff says. “We specialize in engineering and analysis, mechanical design and engineering, and thermal and structural analysis, while also providing manufacturing engineering, and assembly and integration.” At the same time, the service provider offers consulting services at the project requirements definition phase; conceptual and detailed design services at the engineering phase; and manufacturing, engineering, and fabrication expertise at the prototype and production phase.
With expertise in those areas, LightWorks Optics turned to the medical device sector. “Several years ago, we realized that many new products being developed in the life sciences sector require sophisticated optics components, systems, and assemblies,” Belodoff comments. “Since many medical device companies have little or no optical design and engineering expertise, we provide our customers with a specialized avenue for closing this design, assembly, testing, and manufacturing gap.” The company’s offerings fit anywhere that complex optical systems are needed, Belodoff adds, including in such target areas as monitoring sensors; clinical, laboratory, and point-of-care diagnostics; and lasers, ophthalmoscopes, and ophthalmic surgical microscopes.
“Our production facility, including its cleanroom and diamond turning capabilities, are well suited to some of the specialty manufacturing needs of our medical device customers,” Belodoff says. “But to date, that has not been well publicized.” Determined to turn things around, the company insists that getting out the word will be an important focus of its future activities. “In addition,” she adds, “we will continue to build awareness about how our engineering design and manufacturing engineering skills can be used to make complex optics systems and assemblies.”