FIBER OPTICS/LASER SURGERY/PDT: Super-thin, variable-brightness fiber may enable procedures other lasers can't touch

A very narrow fiber light source with brightness variability could enable medical devices to reach into narrow openings to irradiate diseased tissue—and leave healthy tissue untouched. The fiber laser could prove useful in photodynamic therapy (PDT), a method in which light activates injected therapeutic compounds only at targeted locations. The developers, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, MA) Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), envision the fiber enabling procedures that are difficult to accomplish with any other laser approach.1

This 400-µm-diameter fiber light source hopes to enable biomedical procedures, including surgeries and photodynamic therapies, that would be otherwise impossible. (Image courtesy of Greg Hren)

Measuring just 400 µm across, the fiber has a hollow core surrounded by alternating layers of materials with different optical properties, which together act as a mirror. In the core is a droplet of fluid that can be moved up and down the fiber. A laser pumps the droplet to make it emit light—which bounces back and forth between the mirrors, emerging from the core as a 360° laser beam. Surrounding the core are four channels filled with liquid crystals, which vary the brightness of the emitted light; each liquid-crystal channel is controlled by two electrode channels running parallel to it.

1. A.M. Stolyarov, Nat. Photon., 6, 229–233 (2012).

More BioOptics World Current Issue Articles
More BioOptics World Archives Issue Articles

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside a Ramsey, MN, 10-year-old youth's brain.

Low-level laser therapy could speed muscle recovery at Rio 2016 Olympics

The gold medal-winning women’s U.S. Gymnastics team is reportedly experimenting with infrared light therapy to alleviate pain and reduce swelling in its athletes. (Update: A spokesperson for ...

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...



Twitter- BioOptics World