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Optical Engineering

Multifiber optical bend sensor to aid colonoscope navigation
Author(s): Jessica E. Kesner; Robb M. Gavalis; Peter Y. Wong; Caroline G. L. Cao
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Paper Abstract

A colonoscopy's near-blind navigation process frequently causes disorientation for the scope operator, leading to harm for the patient. Navigation can be improved if real-time colonoscope shape, location, and orientation information is provided by a shape-tracking aid, such as a fiber optic bend sensor. Fiber optic bend sensors provide advantages over conventional electromechanical shape-trackers, including low cost and ease of integration. However, current fiber optic bend sensors lack either the ability to detect both bending direction and curvature, or the ability to detect multiple localized bends. An inexpensive multifiber bend sensor was developed to aid users in navigation during colonoscopy. The bend sensor employs active-cladding optical fibers modified with fluorescent quantum dots, bandpass filters, and a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor imager as key components. Results from three-fiber sensors demonstrate the bend sensor's ability to measure curvature (error of 0.01 mm), direction (100% accuracy), and location (predetermined distance) of a bend in the fiber bundle. Comparison with spectroscopy data further confirmed the accuracy of the bending direction measurement for a three-fiber sensor. Future work includes improvements in fiber manufacturing to increase sensor sensitivity and consistency. An expanded 31 fiber bundle would be needed to track the full length of a colonoscope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 50(12) 124402 doi: 10.1117/1.3656750
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 50, Issue 12
Show Author Affiliations
Jessica E. Kesner, Tufts Univ. (United States)
Robb M. Gavalis, Tufts Univ. (United States)
Peter Y. Wong, Tufts Univ. (United States)
Caroline G. L. Cao, Tufts Univ. (United States)

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