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Claims for Patent: 8,216,289

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Claims for Patent: 8,216,289

Title:Illuminator for photodynamic therapy
Abstract: An apparatus and method for photodynamic therapy or photodynamic diagnosis using an illuminator comprising a plurality of light sources generally conforming to a contoured surface and irradiating the contoured surface with substantially uniform intensity visible light. The light sources may comprise generally U-shaped fluorescent tubes that are driven by electronic ballasts. Adjustment of the ballast voltage controls the output power of the tubes. The tubes are supported by a sheet-metal or plastic housing and are covered by a polycarbonate shield which directs cooling airflow within the unit and prevents glass-patient contact in the vent of tube breakage. An aluminum reflector located behind the tubes increases both the output irradiance and the uniformity of the output distribution. The spacing of the U-shaped tubes is varied to increase the output at the edges of the illuminator to make the output more uniform. Also, different portions of the tubes are cooled at different amounts, to improve uniformity. A light sensor monitors output from the U-shaped tubes to provide a signal for adjusting the output from the tubes.
Inventor(s): Lundahl; Scott (Lexington, MA), Kozodoy; Rebecca (Randolph, MA), Carroll; Ronald (Hingham, MA), Leppelmeier; Elton (Highland Height, OH)
Assignee: Dusa Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Wilmington, MA)
Application Number:12/969,999
Patent Claims: 1. A method of photodynamically diagnosing or treating a patient, comprising: illuminating the patient with an illuminator whose measured output over an active emitting area is at least 60% of the measured maximum over all operation distances.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator is configured such that the measured output over the active emitting area is at least 70% of the measured maximum at distances of 4'' and 2''.

3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator comprises fluorescent tubes.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the spectral output of the illuminator substantially matches the absorption spectrum of protoporphyrin IX.

5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator generates light substantially entirely within the blue region.

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator has a nominal peak wavelength of 417.+-.5 nanometers and a nominal bandwidth of 30 nanometers.

7. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to treat actinic keratosis.

8. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to treat acne.

9. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to treat photo damaged skin.

10. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to treat cancer.

11. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to treat warts.

12. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to treat psoriasis.

13. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to remove hair.

14. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to diagnose cancer.

15. The method according to claim 1, comprising illuminating the patient to treat a pre-cancerous condition.

16. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator is configured such that the measured output over the active emitting area is at least 70% of the measured maximum at distances between 4'' and 2''.

17. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator is configured such that the measured output over the active emitting area is at least 70% of the measured maximum at a distance of 4''.

18. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator is configured such that the measured output over the active emitting area is at least 70% of the measured maximum at a distance of 2''.

19. The method according to claim 1, wherein the illuminator is configured such that the measured output over the active emitting area is at least 70% of the measured maximum at a distance between 4'' and 2''.
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