Fiber array for optical imaging and therapeutics

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United States Patent and Trademark Office

The present invention relates to the field of optical imaging and therapeutics. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention provide minimally-invasive Fiberoptic Microneedle Devices (FMDs) for light-based therapeutics, which physically penetrate tissue and deliver light directly into the target area below the skin surface (FIG. 1). A preferred embodiment of the invention is a fiberoptic microneedle device comprising: (a) one or more silica-based needles capable of guiding light and comprising a length of about 0.5-6 mm, a base having an outer diameter in the range of about 100-150 micron, and a tip having an outer diameter in the range of about 5-20 micron; (b) a support member to which the needles are secured; (c) a ferrule comprising one or more holes for each of the needles, wherein the ferrule is operably configured to provide mechanical support to each needle at all or some portion of the length of the needle. Embodiments of the invention enable depth-selective and deep photothermal therapeutics and can be adapted for use with any laser-based treatment or diagnostic in which light is used to detect or treat targets under or on the skin surface.