bwtech@UMBC’s Potomac Photonics makes big strides in micro-manufacturing

Potomac Photonics, a bwtech@UMBC-based micro-manufacturing company, uses lasers, 3D printers and other technologies to alter and develop products with extreme precision, to the scale of one micron, smaller than a particle of dust.

“We like to say that if you can see it, we didn’t do it,” says Mike Adelstein ‘96, biochemistry and molecular biology, and president and CEO of Potomac Photonics, in a recent article in The Baltimore Sun.

The company has used lasers to insert tiny holes into medical stitches so localized radiation can be delivered in small doses to patients with breast and prostate cancer. These sutures have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are now being used at hospitals, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Potomac Photonics is also working with a company in Europe to create a device to identify early stage cancer cells in a new way.

With all of the advances that the company is making, Adelstein anticipates that the Baltimore County region “will become a hotbed for manufacturing technology.” He suggests facilities and programs at UMBC and the Community College of Baltimore County will contribute significantly to that surge.

“There’s really a lot of resources and investment that are going on in this area right here to develop new advanced manufacturing technologies,” said Adelstein. “I think there’s a great opportunity for this region to grow.”

Read the full article “Arbutus-based micro-manufacturing company doesn’t sweat the small stuff,” in The Baltimore Sun.

Image: The bwtech@UMBC entrance. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.