About Mike Murphy


Mike began his career in medical lasers in 1986 in the Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland as part of his post-graduate studies. With a physics degree under his belt from the University of Glasgow he applied his knowledge of lasers and applied it to interactions with tissue – particularly skin, tattoos and and blood vessels.

As part of his studies he worked in the Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit within Canniesburn Hospital where he helped to develop the scar-free removal of tattoos with a Q-switched ruby laser. He continued to work in laser research looking into the removal of pediatric port wine stains and in the computer simulation of laser-tissue interactions (see a list of Mike’s publications).


Mike’s Biography

Mike has spent more than 25 years in the medical laser industry. His first company, Derma-Lase Limited, was borne out of clinical research in Canniesburn Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland into the removal of tattoos and benign pigment lesions using the Q-switched ruby laser. He was involved in the original research program from 1986, and also studied the effects of the pulsed dye laser on vascular lesions (such as port wine stains). In fact, his group purchased the second long pulsed dye laser produced by Dr Horace Furomoto in the very early days of Candela (the first being purchased by Dr Rox Anderson’s group in Boston).

In 1989 Mike and his colleagues formed Derma-Lase Ltd to sell the DLR1 ruby laser across the world with many sales in America and in South East Asia. They opened the world’s first tattoo removal clinic in Glasgow using Q-switched lasers. Two years later they launched the world’s first commercial Q-switched Nd:YAG laser for dermatological applications, the MultiLine.

In 1996 Mike left Derma-Lase to pursue new avenues, in particular the removal of hair using intense pulsed light. He worked with colleagues in Sweden to produce one of the world’s first commercial IPL systems – the Plasmalite. This system went on to sell extremely well across most European countries, America and in Asia. To open the hair removal market in the UK he established the first salon outside of London with an IPL system in 1999 in Glasgow. The Athena Centre became one of the UK’s top hi-tech centres for cosmetic procedures with a varied range of state-of-the-art equipment.


Currently Mike is working on a theoretical analysis of the thermodynamic processes within tissues when irradiated with light energy. He plans to publish the results of this work in the near future.

Mike’s Timeline:


Started in tattoo removal research program, Canniesburn Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit, Glasgow


Started in PWS research with pulsed dye lasers & theoretical research into laser-tissue interactions, Univ of Strathclyde


Establishment of world’s first QS ruby laser tattoo removal clinic in Glasgow through DermaLase Ltd


Published ‘“Q-switched Ruby Laser Removal of Tattoos : A 9-Year Review.” (click here to view);

Launch of world’s first QS ruby laser into Euro market


Opened US subsidiary to launch ruby into US market – DermaLase Inc.


Launch of QS ruby laser into Asian markets for treatment of pigmented lesions.


Began development of world’s first IPL systems with Swedish inventor;

Launch of Europe’s first QS Nd:YAG laser for tattoo removal


Launch of first commercial IPL system into the UK ‘s beauty market

2000 +

Development of IPL systems and training for Asian markets


Began clinical research into electronic tissue repair system


Launch of first clinic utilising eCure 220 Tissue Repair (pain-relief) system


Assisted in launch of hi-end IPL system into China (including a two month stay to setup sales, marketing and training)


Launched new training service – DermaLase Training Services – www.dermalase.co.uk


Mike is currently a member of the British Medical Laser Association (BMLA) and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS). He is also a certified Laser Protection Adviser through the Association of Laser Safety Professionals.

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