Optical Fiber Helps Bring Medical Imaging “To Light”

OFS recently developed a technology platform to build high-quality, fiber optic probes with flexible tip lensing designs for Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) medical imaging applications. These probes meet or exceed critical OCT specifications including insertion loss, internal back reflection, beam size and working distance.

With vertically integrated manufacturing, OFS offers a wide range of custom optical fibers including select cutoff, specific numerical apertures, graded index fibers and coreless fibers. Any OFS medical-grade optical fiber or cable can be paired with a connector or custom probe assembly for a turnkey, sterilizable sub-assembly, ready to plug in to a medical device.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a medical imaging technique used to capture micrometer-resolution, three-dimensional images directly from sub-surface tissues. Physicians increasingly choose OCT for diagnostic use in ophthalmology, interventional cardiology and gastroenterology.

To learn more, please go HERE.


The Effects of Sterilization Methods on Specialty Optical Fibers and Terminations

While specialty optical fibers and fiber optic-based probes or sensors are ideally suited for a wide range of medical applications, such as invasive surgical procedures, these fibers must be sterilized to ensure that they are free of microorganisms before being used inside a human body.

Although a variety of physical and chemical sterilization treatments are used in the medical device industry, exposing optical fibers to harsh conditions can significantly affect their properties, including optical attenuation and mechanical strength.

Finding only a few studies related to this subject, a group of intrepid OFS researchers investigated.       To read their white paper and learn about their findings, please go here. And to access a recent article and/or webcast on this subject by Dr. Andrei Stolov, a member of the research team, please go to article or webcast.


A Miniature Turnaround for Distributed Temperature Sensing

Fiber optic distributed temperature sensing systems (DTS) are valuable tools used for a broad range of applications, including the monitoring of hydrologic systems and power cables, and the detection of pipeline leaks. In many fiber optic DTS systems, a dual-ended configuration can correct the temperature measurement error associated with wavelength dependent loss (WDL) of the optical fiber. This design can also provide a more accurate temperature measurement when compared with a single-ended fiber system.

Xiaoguang Sun, David T. Burgess, Kyle Bedard, Jie Li and Mike Hines of OFS recently presented a white paper on this subject at the 2015 SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Conference. This paper focuses on their research findings when a miniature-turnaround device built with a short section of a graded index (GI) fiber is used. To read more, please go HERE.

OFS Medical Sterilization

The use of optical fiber and fiber-optic based sensors in the medical market is constantly growing. Prior to use inside the human body, fibers must be sterilized to ensure they are free of microorganisms and perform well during invasive and noninvasive medical applications such as urology, general surgery, ophthalmology, cardiology, endoscopy, dentistry, and medical sensing.  OFS tested optical fibers with four separate coatings to see the effects of sterilization on attenuation and mechanical strength. Sterilization can generally be defined as any process that destroys all microbial life such as fungi, bacteria, and virus or spore forms. Before our testing, there were only a few studies directly or indirectly related to effects of sterilization on optical and mechanical properties of optical fibers which is why we felt real data knowledge and experience was at the utmost importance in order to best recommend materials for different types of sterilization in addition to which sterilization methods work best.

Why is the Fiber Twisted?

Optical fiber shape sensing is a form of distributed sensing that uses scattered signals from optical fibers to ascertain local curvature and twist and thus the shape of a given structure. The twist and bend information is recorded by an interrogator which then reconstructs the fiber shape through a series of geometric formulations. Although shape sensing is aimed towards the medical market, it can be utilized in other markets as well: energy, defense, aerospace, structural health monitoring and other smart structures.

High Power Under Tight Bends

Laser-induced Damage to Large Core Optical Fiber by High Peak Laser Power
Laser-induced Damage to Large Core
Optical Fiber by High Peak Laser Power

Adapted from manuscript by Dr. Xiaoguang Sun and Dr. Jie Li | rewrite by Anthea Croghan

As medical applications are demanding optical fibers to transmit with increasingly higher peak powers and smaller bend diameters, it has become necessary to test and develop fibers that can perform under these strenuous conditions. A study recently completed by Dr. Xiaoguang Sun and Dr. Jie Li of OFS examined laser damage to large core multimode glass optical fibers from high peak laser power, providing important insight into the damage mechanism for a particular failure mode. A two-point bend tester was used on fiber samples prepared with polymer coatings, having different refractive indices. It was found that peak power was one of the main determining factors in performance among the samples. Polymer coatings with lower refractive indices were found to significantly improve fiber resistance to bending while transmitting. Read More…

Sterilization Effects on Key Properties of Optical Fibers

Optical fibers are successfully used in various areas, such as cardiology and so much more!
Optical fibers are successfully
used in various areas, such as
cardiology and so much more!

Optical fibers are successfully used in various areas of medicine, including urology, general surgery, ophthalmology, cardiology, endoscopy, dentistry and medical sensing [1 – 4]. Prior to use inside a human body the fiber must be sterilized to ensure it is free of microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, and virus or spore forms. Read More…

Why Optical Fiber for the Medical Industry?

Optical Fiber in the Medical Industry
Optical Fiber in the Medical Industry

Even though the first use of lasers in medicine was reported by Goldman in 1962-and then in 1963 for experimental cardiovascular plaque ablation-it is the Aesthetic and Ophthalmic applications that historically pushed the use and adoption of photons in medicine. In addition to invasive and non-invasive cosmetic treatments and ophthalmic therapies, urology is another mature market today using lasers and optical fiber probes. In this market lasers and optical fibers are used in transurethral laser therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and kidney stone ablation. Read More…

How do you choose?

Medical Applications
Medical Applications

How do you choose a supplier for your Optical Fiber needs for your medical device application? When I’m working with medical device manufacturers on new products, I almost always think "Why have they chosen OFS?" Each time I come up with the same answer. OFS processes and procedures are in-line with FDA Good Manufacturing Practices. Moreover, OFS employs lean manufacturing principals, which ultimately helps our customers get to market faster, by planning and doing more in the beginning; eliminating waste when it’s time to go to market. Read More…