Photonic Incubator

UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic is committed to the dissemination of technologies through commercialization. The Photonic Incubator at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic was established in 1998 as one of the first incubators in the UC system. As part of the Institute’s expansion, the Photonic Incubator houses several start-up companies that collaborate with UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic faculty in the development of light-based medical devices.


UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic Start-up Incubating Companies

BitByte Dental Innovations, LLC (Since 2017)
BIT Byte Dental Innovations, LLC (BBDI) develops clinical devices and instruments to improve dental practice and outcomes.

Cactus Medical, LLC (Since 2019)
Cactus Medical, LLC is developing a new otoscope system to improve diagnosis of otitis media (ear infection) on the front line of care. Almost every child, approximately 90 percent, will have at least one ear infection before kindergarten. At roughly 30 million annual office visits, suspected ear infection is the second most common reason children are seen by a physician. Despite the frequency of cases, subjective reporting puts diagnostic certainty in primary care at approximately 60 percent, making otitis media the most common cause of unnecessary antibiotic use in children and the leading surgical indication in pediatrics. Cactus’ revolutionary Optical Tympanometry technology is 98 percent accurate and importantly, works through ear wax.

InfraDerm, LLC (Since 2017)
InfraDerm, LLC is a start-up company co-founded by Drs. Mihaela Balu, an associate researcher at the Institute; Bruce Tromberg, former Institute Director, and Christopher Zachary, Chair, Department of Dermatology. InfraDerm’s goal is to design, develop and market compact, cost-effective imaging devices based on multiphoton microscopy to provide sub-surface skin images with sub-cellular resolution. Applications include clinical research, diagnosis and treatment monitoring for various skin conditions, including skin cancer.

Lumitron Technologies, Inc. (Since  2017)
Lumitron Technologies, Inc., a start-up transplant to UCI and BLIMC from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, uses laser-Compton scattering to create tunable, pencil-beam x-rays over a wide range of energies from 10keV to several MeV. Lumitron machines can be used in wide range of medical, industrial and security applications.  Potential medical applications include compression-free mammograms at 100th the dose of existing technology, as well as selective cancer detection and treatment at the cellular level without patient movement.

Modulim (Since 2006)
Modulim is a pioneer in subsurface optical imaging powered by spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI), an advanced imaging technique co-invented by CTO Dr. David Cuccia at the Institute. The proprietary technology helps clinicians identify compromised circulation by measuring microvascular tissue oxygenation and hemoglobin distribution. Compromised circulation in the tissue is a risk associated with many chronic diseases like diabetes, chronic wounds and peripheral arterial disease. With widespread adoption in prevention, SFDI could be used to target care and save limbs and lives, as well as billions of dollars in treatment costs. In 2019, Modulim launched the Clarifi Imaging system, powered by SFDI, to the medical market. The system is currently being used by podiatrists, vascular surgeons and interventionalists.

Praxis Biosciences, Inc. (Since 2012)
Praxis Biosciences, Inc. is a developmental stage company focused on commercializing innovative and practical solutions for biomedical research and healthcare industries. Technologies include a portable, non-invasive light-based imaging device for rapid, low-cost detection of sinus infections in children and an app-based device for personalized testing and augmentation of hearing.

Reshape Life Sciences, LLC (Since 2015)
Reshape Life Sciences, LLC (dba ModaThera) is developing a laser system for cartilage reshaping to improve and correct functional and cosmetic malformations. The company’s technologies are based on minimally invasive approaches to alter the mechanical properties of cartilage tissues and thus providing significantly less trauma to patients than conventional surgical procedures.

Collaborative Companies Incubating at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic:

Makani Sciences, Inc. (Since 2018)
Nearly 40 percent of medical procedures requiring anesthesia are now being performed outside of the traditional operating room setting, and frequently away from the constant vigilance of an anesthetist. Most involve intravenous sedation, such as colonoscopy or cardiac catheterization, which involves the use of potent sedatives (e.g., midazolam) and narcotic analgesics (e.g., fentanyl) that cause respiratory depression requiring careful monitoring. Unfortunately, current monitors for respiration are deficient. Makani Science, Inc. is developing the world’s first wireless and wearable patch sensor designed to monitor breathing-respiratory rate, volume and minute ventilation. It is a simple and intuitive respiration monitoring system based on UCI technology.

Multiphoton Laser Technology, Inc. (Since 2011)
Multiphoton Laser Technology, Inc. (MPLT) was established in U.S. by Dr. Karsten Koenig, CEO of JenLab GmbH (Jena, Germany) and former Institute postdoctoral fellow.  MPTflex, a multiphoton tomography (MPT) device developed by MPLT, is based on ultrafast (femtosecond) laser technology.  It is designed to perform non-invasive, high-resolution label-free imaging of human skin.

Photonics Management Corp (Since 2019)
Photonics Management Corp owns Hamamatsu Photonics assets in North America. This includes the stock of Hamamatsu Corporation, the authorized distributor for Hamamatsu Photonics KK products, as well as Energetiq the manufacturer of EUV light sources and high brightness laser-driven light sources. In addition, Photonics Management is charged with looking for seed investments in start-ups that are using or developing photonics technology. Their parent company is a world leader in photonics making a large variety of detectors, image sensors, lasers and lamps. Hamamatsu also produces end user products, such as scientific Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (sCMOS) cameras, digital slide scanners for pathology and back end semiconductor failure analysis systems. Their products cover the electromagnetic spectrum from the X-ray to the terahertz.