Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the number one cause of death in the U.S. [1]. 720,000 Americans are projected to undergo coronary attacks in 2014. 215,000 of these attacks are expected to be repeat episodes [2], which implies a deficiency in the current CAD percutaneous coronary interventions. Angioplasty and stenting are the most common treatment options, but these methods can trigger an injury response, swelling, and restenosis. Currently, the outcomes of alternative plaque removing treatments like excimer atherectomy or mechanical atherectomy are similar to stenting, so their use has been limited to procedures not well suited for balloon angioplasty and stenting [3].

The creation of an accurate and reliable tissue-identification sensor may enable the control of atherectomy procedures by verifying that the tissue in the ablation zone is the correct tissue to remove in between each laser pulse. A sensor with this capability would...

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