The ’60 and 70’s saw one of the most remarkable shifts in medical paradigm: the then growing conviction that minimizing trauma to the patient is as important as achieving a satisfying therapeutic effect, has resulted in the gradual transition from open surgery to minimally invasive interventions (also ‘keyhole’ surgery). In minimally invasive interventions trauma and scarring are minimized by performing the procedure through very small incisions (several millimeters). This of course requires some very sophisticated sensors which can deliver feedback to the surgeon. Since these sensors need to combine a small diameter with flexibility and biocompatibility, a large part of these sensors are based on fiber optics . However, despite huge technological advancements, fiber optic sensors still have limitations which prohibits their application in certain medical domains.
This research comprises two research tracks, one for imaging and one for shape sensing, whereby each track investigates a concept for a Micro-structured Optical Fibre (MOF) in order to circumvent the limitations in the aformentioned applications. In the imaging track, the focus lies on modelling, design, fabrication and characterization of an imaging MOF whereby scanning and focussing at the distal end would be done by using wavefront shaping . In the second track, the goal is to model, design, fabricate and characterize a 3D shape sensor, based on a MOF with integrated Fibre Bragg Gratings .
The fabrication of the MOFs will be done in close cooperation with the Marie Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland while the inscription of the FBGs will be done together with the Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in Jena, Germany .
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