5 Uses Of Optical Fibers In Medicine You Must Know

5 Uses Of Optical Fibers In Medicine You Must Know

Medical fiber optics is a major medical technology functioning in many medical specialties. The widespread uses of optical fibers in medicine is because of its structure and function, making medical operations and diagnosis much easier for physicians and patients alike.

Medical fiber optics is non-toxic to the body. They are chemically inert, sterile, and flexible. In addition, using the same techniques as other medical instruments, they can undergo sterilization. Optic fibers in surgical procedures are minimally invasive.

Though fiber optic technology started with endoscopic imaging, where it outmoded many types of invasive surgery, it is now an essential component of many types of medical procedures. Optical fibers allow surgeons to repair damaged organs, diagnose joint issues, and remove diseased tissues. They leave the patient with quite a shorter recovery time than the others invasive surgical approaches.

What can Make Fiber Optics Better for medical devices?

Data rates are continuously growing faster for medical devices. Therefore, fiber optics can provide a better choice in networking. The most common difference between a wire system and a fiber optic system is that later can send data in the form of light pulses. Optic fiber system uses down the fiber cable instead of using electronic pulses through copper wires. It is quite fast and has much larger capacity to provide faster data at the rates per size than standard copper wire. Also, fiber cables can be thinner and more flexible. They are typically stronger, thus require less maintenance than others.

Uses of optical fibers in medicine

Major uses of optical fibers in medicine include pressure, remote spectrophotometry, position sensing, and scintillation counting. Intravascular pressure transducers and vivo oximeters also include optical fibers.

1. Optical fibers are used in Endoscopes. 

Endoscopes widely use optical fibers to generate a perfect image of inside the body. A doctor inserts a bundle of optical fibers into body; some may carry light into the body while others can carry light reflected off internal body surfaces back out. As a result, doctor can see an image of the inside of the body clearly. This will help in the diagnosis of diseases like cancer.

Endoscopes may equip with optical fibers to use for multiple operations. These endoscopes uses for major processes may include operations for the purpose of transmitting light into the hollow organ to look inside the organ. On the other hand, optical fibers equipped with endoscopes can transmit image data using ordered fiber bundles from the hollow organ to the ocular and thus to the viewer.

2. Optical fibers are used in CT scans.

It is another method for producing an image of the inside of the body. CT scans use X-rays to produce a 3D image of the body. Traditional X-ray imaging usually provides a two-dimensional (2D) view of the body by one angle resulting in details obscured by other structures in the body. 

Computerized tomography (CT) scans include taking a range of X-ray images from the several different positions. Computer processes them to build a three-dimensional (3D) image. The image can manipulate to see the inside structures within the body at different forms and from different points of view. It allows a doctor attain a much greater insight into what is a problem with a patient.

3. Optical fibers have major uses in surgical laser.

Typical surgical laser applications include:

  • Endoscopic vaporization
  • Enucleation of the benign prostate
  • Fragmentation of kidney stones in urology
  • Endoscopic destruction
  • Removal of cancerous tissues in the bronchial branches in pulmonology
  • The endoluminal sclerosis of varicose veins
  • Tissue ablation in the nose and throat

4. Holmium and Thulium Lasers have Made Keyhole Surgery Possible.

New uses of medical have opened up in both diagnostics and therapy fields as the introduction of lasers into medicine and the development of fiber-optic technologies. Optical fibers uses range from invasive and non-invasive treatments to the endoscopic surgery for the purpose of imaging diagnostics in so-called keyhole technologies. Low optical power can actually fed through optical fibers to diagnose. Surgical procedures generally need the transmission of high power up to 200 W in cw operation. The medical certification of optical fibers shows a big challenge to the clinical use.

5. They can Destroy Kidney Stones with Laser Light.

The process involve is the Laser Radiation at 2 µm for State-of-the-Art Surgery. The recent surgical operations utilize laser light at a wavelength of approximately 2 µm. Removal of kidney stones (lithotripsy) in urology is the domain of pulsed Ho:YAG laser radiation. The continuous and pulsed radiation of the thulium lasers can destroy of soft tissue to free the airways in the bronchial branches.

What are the requirements for optical fibers in medical technology?

Optical fibers have significant uses in surgical operations optimized for the transmission of high optical power in wavelengths from 500 nm to 2500 nm. The both types of pulsed and cw radiation can transmit here. The optical fiber can fed through the working channel of an endoscope into an organ to check inside for the transmission of laser energy into tissue under visual control. It is important to make sure, in flexible endoscopes, that the optical fiber only affects a little bit the flexibility and bending capacity of the endoscope.

Because of this, optical fibers with a small core diameter (200-400 µm) prefer over more rigid fibers (600-800 µm). The outer diameter must not exceed 1000 µm. This can allow extraction and rinsing carrying out additionally through the occupied working channel. Depending on the knowledge obtained from the interaction between light and tissue, effects of tissue base on the power density applied. Thus treatment can alter and effects can be induced.

How can medical fiber optics be improved?

More feedback in tools containing medical fiber optics is an active area of exploration. This can result in exploring more uses of optical fibers in medicine. Adding haptic feedback requires experimenters to develop new detectors and feedback systems.

A 2020 review of approaches for bluffing touch through robotics describes coming up tactile robotics by putting on what happens in human skin. The delicate part of adding up human touch, according to the review, is that humans experience in stages the boosts we understand as touch. Enabling a medical fiber optics equipped robot to reuse texture, force, and place the way the mortal brain does is a complex computational problem.

Current attempts at creating tactile detectors include piezoelectricity, capacitors, and optics, among others. One operation of a haptic feedback system that uses medical fiber optics and sensors could be completely functional artificial skin, which also brings up the possibility of surgical gloves that do not lose any sensation through the material.

A 2020 research in the journal Sensors specifically broke down new uses for fiber optics related to temperature. Surgeons cannot use traditional thermometers to cover cases temperatures during surgery, so medical fiber optics is starting to meet that need.

 According to the research, multiple fiber optical thermometers presently exist, but they don’t always record temperatures reliably in all surroundings, so more inquiry is demanded. These implicit results come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and accoutrements. Silicon, titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, and glass have all been used as fiber optical vessels for thermometers.

The manner in which a fiber-optical thermometer is used has a large impact on how it must be made. For illustration, a nasal thermometer shouldn’t be made of glass due to risk of breakage.

Also read: Spring: Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

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