C. Kumar N. Patel, PhD, MSc, Becomes an Honorary Member of the American Laser Study Club

BOTHELL, Wash., May 9, 2018 – C. Kumar N. Patel, Ph.D., MSc, the inventor of the CO2 laser, has become an Honorary Member of the American Laser Study Club (ALSC).  Dr. Patel was a keynote speaker and also received the ALSC’s first annual award – the “Kumar Patel Prize in Laser Surgery” – at the ALSC Inaugural Symposium last month. The ALSC is extremely honored to add Dr. Patel as a member.

Dr. Patel’s invention — the CO2 laser — has become the most popular soft-tissue surgical laser across all specialties of human and veterinary medicine. The CO2 laser’s ability to precisely vaporize one cell layer at a time, due to its excellent absorption by histological water, and its unique ability to delicately coagulate blood capillaries are just some of the features that make the CO2 laser the gold standard of surgical lasers. Thanks to over 50 years of technological advances in optics and electronics, the CO2 laser energy is now relatively easy to produce and ergonomically deliver to the surgical site in a variety of accurately controlled beam shapes and pulse formats. Among the many notable CO2 laser applications in recent years is the frenectomy procedure that helps alleviate breastfeeding difficulties in newborns.

About Dr. Patel

C. Kumar N. Patel was born in Baramati, India, in 1938. He received his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Poona University at the age of 19 (1958), then came to the U.S. for graduate school. He earned an MS (1959) and Ph.D. (1961) in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He spent more than 30 years at Bell Labs, starting in 1961.

Dr. Patel began doing fundamental research in laser action in the pure rare gases. This led him to discover laser action in carbon dioxide (CO2) in 1963. He is the inventor of the carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and the Spin-Flip Raman lasers. He pioneered the use of these and other lasers to measure trace gases in difficult environments.

In February 2000, he founded Pranalytica Inc. in Santa Monica, California, where he is the CEO and chairman of the board. The company initially developed revolutionary ultra-sensitive trace gas detection instrumentation based on laser spectroscopy. Driven by advances in its laser sources, Pranalytica led the commercialization of revolutionary new infrared light sources – quantum cascade lasers.

Dr. Patel is a professor of physics with a joint appointment in electrical engineering at UCLA. He served as UCLA’s vice chancellor for research through 1999. Among his many awards, Patel was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1974 and the National Academy of Engineering in 1978. He received the National Medal of Science given by the President of the United States in 1996.

About the ALSC

The American Laser Study Club was created to fill the void in the current laser dentistry and laser surgery education system, namely the science behind laser-tissue interaction. The “sound scientific basis and proven efficacy in order to ensure public safety” is one of the main eligibility requirements for the American Dental Association’s CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures. Some laser dentistry educational programs and publications misrepresent certain aspects of soft and hard tissue laser science and safety. These misrepresentations partially originate in the Laser Dentistry Curriculum Guidelines, which date back to the early 1990s, and lack important laser-tissue interaction concepts, such as the Absorption Spectra,Hot Glass Tip, Plasma Plume, etc.