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Proceedings Paper

Hypodermic Fiberscope
Author(s): Max Epstein
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Paper Abstract

Introduced about a decade ago, the fiber-optic endoscope has become an important and versatile tool in medicine. It originally was intended to replace the semi-rigid all-lens endoscopes to provide, (a) greater flexibility than was possible with the classical instrument which consists of a train of optical lenses, and (b) to provide "cold-light" illumination at the distal end of the probe. It thus became possible to develop a whole family of endoscopes for remote viewing and photography in bronchoscopy, gastroscopy, rectoscopy, proctosigmoidoscopy, cystoscopy, etc. The fiber-optic endoscope proved to be of smaller diameter, more flexible and provided more light for improved image clarity in visualizing color gradations in the tissue, an important factor in medical diagnosis. Also, the greater flexibility of the fiber-optic endoscope enables the visualization around corners and the elimination of "blind areas" obtained with the classical semi-rigid instrument. Although small in comparison with the classical endoscope, the fiber-optic instrument is still large enough to accomodate an optical lens system at the distal end. An imaging bundle of coherent fibers used in a typical endoscope has a diameter of from 2 to 5 mm. It usually consists of many fibers (50 thousand to 250 thousand in-dividual fibers) aligned to provide for the coherent transmission of the image. When constructed of individual fibers, lOpim in diameter each, the entire bundle remains flexible allowing for very small bending radii. Commercially available fiber-optic structures of coherently aligned individual fibers utilize fiber bundles with diameters down to 2mm where the ends are tied together while the rest of the fibers along the length of the bundle remain loose and therefore flexible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1974
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 0043, Application of Optical Instrumentation in Medicine II, (1 May 1974); doi: 10.1117/12.953899
Show Author Affiliations
Max Epstein, Nortnwestern University (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0043:
Application of Optical Instrumentation in Medicine II
William R. Hendee; William C. Zarnstorff, Editor(s)

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