Clinique Dr Daniel Barolet is spearheading a unique initiative to establish a fully integrated centre of innovation with three divisions dedicated to the dermatology of tomorrow.
Over the past 22 years, the clinical division has delivered laser treatment to more than 7,000 patients a year. Many of these cases have represented a considerable treatment challenge. Using photonics technologies (the science of light), we provide effective solutions right here in our clinic.
Opusmed, the production division, can then proceed with the small-scale production of high-tech devices of unparalleled quality. For example, using proprietary Lumiphase technology, Opusmed was asked to develop a custom wavelength LED platform at 688 nm for QLT Inc. (a Vancouver-based company dedicated to PDT drugs).
Also, a high-power LED device (Lumiphase™) was designed specifically for the U.S. Navy based in San Diego. Not only can Lumiphase be used to provide photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat acne, skin cancer and precancerous conditions, it has also proven effective in accelerating the healing of wounds and minimizing scars for soldiers returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Let there be light
Dr. Barolet is the driving force behind this state-of-the-art centre. His fascination with light began when at the age of 13, when he bought his first aquarium and started observing the interaction between light and the coral and other living creatures in the water.
Later, during his medical studies, he chose to specialize in dermatology, a discipline at the vanguard of laser technology. He went on to become a trailblazer in the field.
As one of the pioneers in light-based dermatology treatments, he set up the first clinic in Canada specializing exclusively in laser applications in 1992. Five years later, he founded Opusmed and the country's first skin optics research laboratory (RoseLab). The first product rolled out was a portable hair removal device (the first of its kind) using high-power diodes. The photobiomodulation (low level light therapy) project followed in 2001. Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) improves tissue repair and reduces pain and inflammation wherever the beam is applied. Treatments take a few minutes and should be applied two or more times a week. The project was a bold one, as the science was still in its infancy.
In the years since, a strong intellectual property (IP) portfolio has emerged, featuring revolutionary treatments and cutting-edge devices for home use and medical applications.
An enduring fascination with coral...
Dr. Barolet is currently developing new LED illumination systems that imitate the natural effects of sunlight. He is still experimenting on his own reef aquarium and thus helping to advance scientific knowledge in an area that greatly needs it. Convinced that photobiomodulation (LLLT) is the next generation of laser medicine, he decided to dedicate himself to the business of making LLLT mainstream.
LLLT has been used for many years on sports injuries, arthritic joints, back and neck pain, and non-healing wounds, such as venous ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and pressure sores as well as post-chemotherapy and radiation ulcers (mucositis). There's more. Dr. Barolet pioneered the use of LLLT for the skin using innovative pulsing parameters - communicating with the skin almost like Morse code - which resulted in proprietary breakthrough concepts:
- Photorejuvenation (compensation for the loss of collagen to reverse signs of aging)
- Photoprevention (prevention against exposure to the sun, excess pigmentation and scarring)
- Photopreparation (increased efficacy of creams, in synergy with the power of light)
- Photoregulation (dual regulation of collagen metabolism)
Speaking to skin
Similar to Morse code, pulsed light can send a message to skin to minimize wrinkles, prevent sun-induced damage, reduce inflammation, heal wounds and more. These applications can be used to effectively treat skin disorders such as chronic ulcers, which currently cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year. We have already developed an unprecedented IP portfolio in this field.
Our unrivalled expertise stems from our ability to manipulate light for therapeutic purposes. Meticulous scientific research goes into each and every one of the concepts we develop, and we have published several papers to disseminate our findings.
Dermatology in the 21st century will be dependent on a combination of technological and pharmacological innovation. Our new skin cancer treatment method is an example of this. Intralesional photodynamic therapy has the potential to hold its own against the current gold standard, that is, Mohs micrographic surgery.
We will also strive to broaden the number of pulse codes available for new applications, to build on the five proprietary pulse codes we already have. The future is very bright indeed!