2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

UCCS professor’s company licenses his technology

Published: February 20, 2014, 5:39 pm, by Wayne Heilman

A company started by Michael Larson, a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, has licensed technology he developed for a medical device that uses a laser to fuse human tissue as an alternative to stitches or medical stables in nasal surgeries.

Tissue Fusion LLC, a Colorado Springs-based company owned by Larson and investors from Florida, agreed to license the technology from UCCS so it can continue developing the device. The company is gathering data on how well the device works and its safety in tests on sheep at Colorado State University and plans to use results from the tests to seek approval from federal regulators during the third quarter for use in surgeries on the ears, nose and throat,  Larson said.

The device is targeted for use initially in the two most common types of nasal surgery – to treat a deviated septum or for plastic surgery on the nose, often called a “nose job.” If the device is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Tissue Fusion plans to either manufacture the product or license it to a manufacturer.

The company hopes to introduce additional devices for use in surgery and research by Larson and his team shows that the technology holds promise for use in other surgeries, according to a joint press release from the company and the University of Colorado Office of Technology Transfer.

Larson is on half-time leave from his position as vice chancellor of research and innovation so he can try to turn the technology into a marketable product. He will continue as the El Pomar Chair of Engineering and Innovation chair and as a professor at the school.

Larson developed the device shortly after arriving at UCCS in 2006 while working on Department of Defense-sponsored research on how lasers affect various materials, prompting him to apply the technology for medical uses. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade gave Larson a $75,000 grant last year to help gain FDA approval for the device, an amount that was matched by the Florida investors.