The Story of SLT

October 1, 2011

How Dr Mark Latina pioneered Lumenis SLT technology

I have always had a strong interest in science, specifically chemistry. I attended Tufts University where I majored in chemistry with a minor in physics and mathematics.

Even though I had strong passion for chemistry, I was mostly interested in applying my scientific knowledge to helping people more directly; which is why I decided to attend medical school. I received my MD degree from the University of Connecticut and then returned to Boston to complete both my Ophthalmology residency and Glaucoma Fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School.

Based on the work of Dr Alvarado, and the evolving need to understand laser-tissue interactions, I decided to focus my research on approaches to 'selectively' target TM cells to better understand their role in the pathophysiology of glaucoma.

I received an NIH award to study photochemical targeting of TM cells. This was the beginning of the journey to the development of SLT. My research first focused on utilizing exogenous photosensitizers that would selectively be taken up (phagocytosed) by the TM cells. While this approach was effective in vitro it had little in vivo application. My approach then shifted to utilizing melanin as a photoabsorber to target TM cells.

Our research resulted in the seminal publication "Selective targeting of TM cell - In Vitro Studies of Pulsed and Continuous Wave laser interactions", which provided the fundamental parameters and description of laser-tissue interactions of pulsed vs CW lasers on TM cells. Based on this work, I hypothesized that it was not necessary to photocoagulate the TM to reduce IOP, but rather through selectively targeting pigmented TM cells, using short-pulsed, low-fluence lasers, one could achieve IOP reduction without causing thermal damage and scarring.