Martin Bernier has combined fibre-optic technology, traditionally associated with telecommunications, with lasers to develop applications that improve patient care. Optical fibres have become a part of everyday life. Modern telecommunications depend on these strands of glass or plastic to transmit light as information, connecting us to the Internet, for example. Bernier’s research explores other potential uses of fibre-optic technology—surgery and dentistry. The key is finding the material that is best suited to such biomedical applications.
The main objective of Bernier’s work, which is performed in close collaboration with industrial partners, is to integrate fibre-optic components into the development of a new type of laser for minimally invasive surgery.
His research has spun off a company called FibreLase, which commercializes a line of lasers for faster, more precise and cost-effective surgical and dental procedures that minimize patient discomfort and accelerate the healing process.