Medical fiber optics market is driven by increase in demand for endoscopy. The endoscopes’ illumination and imaging components can’t be imagined without medical fiber optics. A fiber optic endoscope transmits multicolor laser light via single, slender optical fiber for rendering proper illumination and color photography. Medical fiber optics also finds applications in scintillation counting, position and pressure sensing, and remote spectrometry.
North America holds the largest share of medical fiber optics market and is expected to be the torchbearer in the years to come. The factors attributed to the share include maximum income being diverted to healthcare and extensive R&D. Europe follows suit; especially Belgium; wherein every citizen’s health is given priority. Vivo oximeters and intravascular pressure transducers are the other applications of medical fiber optics.
The APAC is catching up. Endoscopy implies minimally invasive surgery. This factor is expected to drive the medical fiber optics market in the upcoming period. Another application of medical fiber optics is fiber optic biomedical sensors. These sensors could be extrinsic or intrinsic and measure blood temperature, body temperature, heart rate, and muscle displacement. Gynecology uses medical fiber optics in the form of OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography). An OCT does capture 3D images (micron-scale), that too, from within optical scattering media (for instance biological tissue). One could equate OCT with ultrasound imaging; but the difference would be usage of light and not sound.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have devised a 100% elastic prototype of the optical fibers. The raw material is “Hydrogel”. It’s a biocompatible, stretchable material that is made of almost water. The objective of this research is to aid the field of optogenetics; i.e. the practice to activate neurons and brain cells with microscopic light. Though this protocol has to go a long way; it’s for sure that medical fiber optics will make new strides in the near future.