Fiber optic for medical applications – The advent and development of fiber optic shape sensing technology rely on linearly continuous shape sensors and open the door to multiple medical applications. They can aid in navigating and positioning endoscopes and catheters by overcoming several of the shortcomings of traditional methods.

Optical shape sensors are very small in diameter, highly flexible, and chemically inert, which allows them to be integrated with existing minimally invasive medical devices. These shape sensors are unique in that they can sense in a spatially continuous manner, providing information about the location and shape of the entire length of the instrument without the use of X-rays or ultrasound.

The data they generate can be plotted in real-time and displayed visually on a monitor to show the position and overall shape of the instrument. This image can also be compared to known coordinates of locations within the body, enabling physicians to pair the visual reference from the tip of an endoscope with knowledge of how and where the rest of the instrument is positioned. This improved positional awareness can help with real-time guidance of the instrument, significantly reduce procedure duration and complexity, and do away with radiation.

Fiber optic shape sensing improves medical techniques and drives cost down

Improving medical techniques while also driving down costs and reducing risks are all key metrics in the testing and adoption of new medical technologies. This is exactly what is attractive about medical instruments equipped with fiber optic shape sensors.

For minimally invasive surgical procedures, fiber-based shape sensors enable comprehensive instrument tracking while minimizing the complexity associated with traditional ultrasonic and fluoroscopic methods. The technology makes it possible to integrate into various imaging techniques to provide a clear picture of the device within a patient’s anatomy. This equates to reduced risk of complication during procedures, reduced procedure duration, quicker recovery, and thus better long-term health for patients.

Meanwhile, physicians and technicians will see improvement in the quality of their diagnoses and surgeries when using fiber shape sensing instruments, they will be able to perform more frequent procedures due to the shortened duration while reducing their own radiation exposure.

New instruments and procedures utilizing fiber optic shape sensors will ensure that skilled physicians have the tools needed to increase the probability of success and lead to safer, repeatable and more effective methods in medical applications.

Fiber optic being used in medical applications

Fiber optic shape sensing for electrophysiology and vascular

  • Significantly reduces the use of X-rays and fluoroscopy
  • Cuts down procedure times through more effective and intuitive visualization and navigation
  • Because of its immunity to electromagnetic interferences fiber shape sensing can be used in patients with pacemakers and other implants
  • Provides an unrestricted, rotatable, 3D view of the entire length of a device

Fiber optic shape sensing for robotics surgery

Robotics surgery using optical fiber shape sensing

  • Enables advanced closed loop feedback control
  • Allows motion compensation and ability to maintain specific shapes
  • Provides distributed 6DOF information throughout the entire procedure

Fiber optic shape sensing for gastrointestinal

Optical fiber for gastrointestinal

  • Provides shape and position of the entire device during the insertion process
  • Allows to correlate distal movement indicated by cameras with proximal inputs at the device handle
  • Prevents looping and perforations

Fiber optic shape sensing for orthopedics

Fiber optic shape sensing for orthopedics

  • Enables tool alignment and guidance for processes such as hip cup replacement
  • Allows tracking and targeting holes in implants for drilling procedures

Many more medical applications can benefit from fiber optic shape sensing. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

We have started a journey to explore how 3D Shape Sensing technology will revolutionize the navigation, control, design, and efficacy of a variety of tools, thus enabling a whole new range of applications previously thought unattainable. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible we empower our customers to transform their design ideas into products and platforms that will shape their success.

Fiber optic for medical applications