Fiber Optic Sensors

Fiber Optic Sensors for Shape in Medical Applications – White Paper

Fiber optic sensors – This medical applications white paper provides an overview of how fiber optic shape sensing technology benefits physicians and patients alike by reducing the duration of surgical procedures, eliminating some harmful techniques and reducing the risk of complications.

All surgical procedures performed in the medical industry may be classified as being non-invasive, minimally invasive, or invasive. These classifications generally refer to the degree to which medical instruments are introduced into the body.

While a great number of ailments may be treated non-invasively with various medical procedures, physicians must still rely on minimally invasive and invasive procedures to treat some conditions. Doctors and medical researchers are therefore constantly searching for ways to make such procedures safer, repeatable, and more cost-effective.

Some of the greatest breakthroughs in minimally invasive surgery include the development of medical endoscopes and the subsequent introduction of modern imaging methods such as fluoroscopy and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).

These instruments and techniques give direct and indirect views of the heart, blood vessels, internal organs, and other parts of the anatomy to doctors, thus providing them with a wealth of information to guide their diagnostic and surgical decisions and actions.

In addition, these solutions can be equipped to remove blockages, deliver medicines, obtain samples, remove foreign objects, and in some cases, perform minor surgeries. A key benefit of minimally invasive medical devices is that they require only a small incision, often small enough to be sealed with a simple Band-Aid rather than staples or stitches.

This significantly decreases healing and rehabilitation times, and it minimizes both functional and cosmetic damage to the body. Some such procedures, such as colonoscopies, are even performed on an outpatient basis. While these tools open a new landscape for better diagnosis and treatment, there are several drawbacks which limit their success.

First, they can pose a significant risk to the patients as physicians manually guide the instruments through the gastrointestinal, pulmonary, or vascular systems. There is limited technology to aid physicians in this process, and individual experience and knowledge of human anatomy must be heavily relied upon.

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Fiber Optic Shape Sensing development platform

Trailblazer Shape Sensing- Fiber Optic Sensor Development Platform

Trailblazer is an entry-level (fiber optic sensor) solution for shape sensing. It enables the reconstruction and display of the entire shape of a thin, flexible optical fiber.

By discretizing the entire fiber in thousands of 150 ┬Ám long segments Trailblazer is able to extract for every location along a fiber the strain, twist and bending direction that are derived to compute 3D coordinates and provide information on the location of the fiber in space relative to its origin.

Trailblazer is a self-contained fiber optic sensor unit delivered along with a 3D shape sensor and visualization software. The patented fiber optic sensors technology implemented in Trailblazer finds its origins at NASA and is unique as a generic shape sensing instrument available in the market place.

Unlike alternative shape sensing technologies, Trailblazer supports tortuous paths, 6 degrees of freedom, twist and more than 50cm sensing length.

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Advanced Fiber Optic Shape Sensing development platform

Pathfinder Shape Sensing – Advanced Fiber Optic Platform

Pathfinder – Advanced fiber optic sensor enables the reconstruction and display of the entire shape of a thin, flexible optical fiber.

When integrated into medical devices, this provides robots and surgeons with unprecedented feedback on the location and guidance of surgical tools, enables endless opportunities in robotic control, and frees patients from harmful radiative imaging alternatives.

Whenever line of sight is not an option, Pathfinder provides the critical information required to make the right decision in the most difficult environments. In addition to the medical field it empowers numerous applications in the Aerospace, Civil Engineering, Mining and Energy markets. 

Unlike alternative shape sensing technologies, our optical fiber sensors solution supports tortuous paths, 6 degrees of freedom, twist and more than 1 meter sensing length.

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