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Proceedings Paper

Fiber optic temperature sensors for medical applications
Author(s): David T. Schaafsma; Gail Palmer; James H. Bechtel
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Paper Abstract

Recent developments in fiber-optic sensor technology have demonstrated the utility of fiber-optic sensors for both medical and industrial applications. Fiber sensors based on fluorescent decay of rare earth doped materials allow rapid and accurate temperature measurement in challenging environments. Here we review the principles of operation of these sensors with a rare earth doped probe material and demonstrate why this material is an excellent choice for these types of sensors. The decay time technique allows accurate temperature determination from two measurements of the fluorescence intensity at a well-defined time interval. With this method, all instrumental and extraneous environmental effect will cancel, thus providing an accurate temperature measurement. Stability data will be presented for the fiber-optic probes. For medical applications, new breakthroughs in RF ablation technology and electro-surgical procedures are being introduced as alternative, less invasive treatment for removal of small tumors and for removal of plaque within arteries as a preventive treatment that avoids open heart surgery. The availability of small diameter temperature probes (230 microns or 450 microns in diameter) offers a whole new scope to temperature measurement. Accurate and reliable temperature monitoring during any laser treatment procedure or RF ablation at the surgical site is critical. Precise, NIST traceable reliable results are needed to prevent overheating or underheating during treatment. In addition, how interventional catheters are used in hyperthermia studies and the advantages to having flexible cables and multiple sensors are discussed. Preliminary data is given from an animal study where temperature was monitored in a pig during an RF study.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4957, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Applications III, (1 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.478045
Show Author Affiliations
David T. Schaafsma, IPITEK (United States)
Gail Palmer, IPITEK (United States)
James H. Bechtel, IPITEK (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4957:
Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Applications III
Israel Gannot, Editor(s)

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