Optical fibers have recently attracted a noticeable interest for biomedical applications because they provide a minimally invasive method for in vivo sensing, imaging techniques, deep-tissue photodynamic therapy or optogenetics. The silica optical fibers are the most commonly used because they offer excellent optical properties, and they are readily available at a reasonable price. The fused silica is a biocompatible material, but it is not bioresorbable so it does not decompose in the body and the fibers must be ex-planted after in vivo use and their fragments can present a considerable risk to the patient when the fiber breaks. In contrast, optical fibers made of phosphate glasses can bring many benefits because such glasses exhibit good transparency in ultraviolet-visible and near-infrared regions, and their solubility in water can be tailored by changing the chemical composition. The bioresorbability and toxicity of phosphate glass–based optical fibers were tested in vivo on male laboratory rats for the first time. The fiber was spliced together with a standard graded-index multi-mode fiber pigtail and an optical probe for in vitro pH measurement was prepared by the immobilization of a fluorescent dye on the fiber tip by a sol-gel method to demonstrate applicability and compatibility of the fiber with common fiber optics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)