From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2017
The turbidity of biological tissue due to fundamental light-tissue interactions has been a long-standing challenge in biomedical optical technologies. Implanting fibrous optical waveguide into tissue and organ for light delivery and collection is one of the most effective way for alleviate this problem. In this manuscript, by taking advantage of the favorable designability and processibility of citrate-based synthetic polymers, two bio-elastomers with distinct optical properties but matched mechanical properties and similar biodegradation profiles were developed. Combining with an efficient two-step fabrication method, we created a new biodegradable and biocompatible step-index optical fiber. Benefited from this step-index structure and high tunability of citrate-based bio-elastomers, our optical fiber not only demonstrated outstanding optical performance (0.4dB/cm loss), but also had favorable mechanical and biodegradable properties. Apart from the fabrication and characterization of our optical fiber, we successfully demonstrated the functionalities of multimode fiber imaging, deep tissue light delivery and in vivo fluorescence detection of our newly designed optical fiber. We believe the flexible, biodegradable and low loss optical fiber designed in our work offers a valuable tool for optical applications including imaging, detecting, sensing, optogenetic stimulation, and treatment to target regions underneath deep tissue.
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