Optical fiber is very often used in medicine in the field of diagnostics. Since optical fibers can be very thin and can be twisted into flexible strands, they can be applied in the examination of blood vessels, lungs, and other human organs. Optical fibers allow doctors to perform visual analysis and treatment of various diseases through very small incisions employing a tool called an endoscopic fiber catheter.
An unordered light beam of optical fibers can be used for illumination during
operation time, while the ordered one is able to transmit the image to the screen. Another physical property of optical fibers plays a crucial role in medicine: the fibers are very flexible and this makes it possible to widely use the laser beam in therapy.
So, optical fibers help the laser in almost all types of therapy, in which a laser beam must penetrate the human body: in pulmonology, urology, gynecology, etc. Optical fibers can be applied for measuring temperature and other parameters of the body, as well as for performing surgical procedures.
The main advantage of the use of fiber optic systems is that the operation can be performed through a small incision, as a result of which the patient experiences the least amount of inconvenience, and the healing time is significantly reduced compared to other surgical techniques.
Moreover, optical fibers are widely used for examination and treatment of the heart and blood vessels. Doctors also successfully use optical fiber for direct intense laser radiation on the wound to stop bleeding or burn abnormal tissue. Fiber optic systems are essential in the field of medicine.
The field of application of optical fibers in medical practice and research continues to grow rapidly every day. For example, the new fiber optic system allows almost instantly determining the presence of those or other substances in the human blood that are considered to be “markers” of a certain disease.
The fiber optic technology is still being developed, but the first prototypes have already demonstrated the broad abilities of the system. The system consists of a fiber probe that embeds directly into the blood and a blood analysis system that is the size of a tablet. Actually, this is the entire “laboratory”, which replaces all the equipment of the modern blood analysis laboratory, with its centrifuges, electronic analyzers and etc.
In the fiber optic system, the most important element is the fiber probe itself, which is the optical fiber with a system of reflectors and an external coating that detects certain blood substances, those “markers”, if they are present. The light travels along the optical fiber, being reflected by reflectors on the inner coating. Then the light is reflected from the walls, and enters the spectrometer.
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