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Super-elastic multi-material optical fibers for healthcare applications
Author(s): Nicola Bartolomei; Yunpeng Qu; Tung Nguyen Dang; Wei Yan; Alexis G. Page; Tapajyoti Das Gupta; Andreas Leber; Fabien Sorin
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Paper Abstract

Stretchable optical and electronic fibers constitute increasingly important building blocks for a myriad of applications, particularly in robotics, soft prosthesis, surgical tools and implants, and smart medical textiles. The integration of multimaterial architectures and complex functionalities within soft fibers has however for a long time remained difficult to achieve, limiting the performance and functionalities of medical fibers and textiles. In this contribution, we will show how the thermal drawing process used to fabricate optical fibers, and traditionally associated with rigid glasses or thermoplastic, can be applied to a certain class of thermoplastic elastomers. We will demonstrate that optical polymers, liquid metals, and conductive polymer composites could be co-drawn with prescribed architectures within a thermoplastic elastomer cladding. This allowed us to successfully fabricate super-elastic fibers with complex optical as well as electronic functionalities relevant for a myriad of applications in health-care. We will show in particular how such fibers can be used as precise and robust pressure, strain or more generally deformation sensors that can be seamlessly integrated within surgical tools, prosthesis, fabrics or robots. We will also discuss their potential as advanced optical probes, regenerative scaffolds or stimulating implants. This work opens novel opportunities for sensing and monitoring, scaffolds and implants, medical robotics and personalized care.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 February 2019
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 10872, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications XIX, 108720M (27 February 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2510697
Show Author Affiliations
Nicola Bartolomei, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Yunpeng Qu, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Tung Nguyen Dang, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Wei Yan, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Alexis G. Page, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Tapajyoti Das Gupta, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Andreas Leber, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Fabien Sorin, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10872:
Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications XIX
Israel Gannot, Editor(s)

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