Imalux, a Cleveland, OH-based firm specializing in imaging technology, has closed a Series C round of $5.1 million, including conversion of $2.5 million of bridge financing. The funding -- for which lead investors Early Stage Partners, ElectroSonics Medical, Reservoir Venture Partners, and Symark were joined by more than 20 existing and new investors -- will be used to advance Imalux's Niris Imaging System. The Niris System, FDA approved since 2004, is a point-of-care, desktop computer-sized device that allows physicians to view abnormal tissues in real-time. It uses near infrared light and a miniaturized lateral scanning mechanism inside a thin probe to image multiple scattering soft and hard tissues. Niris visualizes microstructure within two millimeters deep, which is where many diagnostically important tissue alterations occur. “The new funding enables the company to fully implement our well planned clinical validation of the Niris Imaging System," said Imalux CEO Bill Sanford, in a statement. "We have successfully placed Niris in over 20 of the world’s most respected medical institutions and have gained the support of leading clinicians and researchers, principally in the field of urology with emphasis on prostate and bladder procedures. We plan to have the system in additional 10-20 significant clinical sites in the U.S. and Europe within the next 12 months. A portion of the new funding will be used to support multi-center studies in bladder cancer that are already being implemented." The Niris System is based on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology, which uses near infrared light to create real-time images. In contrast to other imaging approaches, OCT can be used to create images that reveal the stratified structure of tissue and alterations to that structure. The technology was first demonstrated in 1991, and in the past 10 years, the scientific community has published more than 1,000 papers regarding OCT's technical advantages and clinical uses. Related specifically to Imalux’s technology, there have been more than 27 peer-reviewed clinical and technical papers and 36 international conference presentations. “Market awareness and acceptance of OCT technology is expanding rapidly," said Sanford. "A number of presentations at clinical conferences and publications in major scientific and medical journals are already scheduled for the next few months."