Luminous textiles have the potential to satisfy a need for thin and flexible light diffusers for treatment of intraoral
cancerous tissue. Plastic optical fibers (POF) with diameters of 250 microns and smaller are used to make the textiles
luminous. Usually light is supplied to the optical fiber at both ends. On the textile surface light emission occurs in a
woven structure via damaged straight POFs, whereas the embroidered structure radiates the light out of macroscopically
We compared the optical properties of these two types of textile diffusers using red light laser for the embroidery and
light emitting diode (LED) for the woven structure as light sources, and found efficiencies for the luminous areas of the
two samples of 19 % (woven) and 32 % (embroidery), respectively. It was shown that the efficiency can be greatly
improved using an aluminium backing. Additional scattering layers lower the fluence rate by around 30 %.
To analyse the homogeneity we took a photo of the illuminated surface using a 3CCD camera and found, for both
textiles, a slightly skewed distribution of the dark and bright pixels. The interquartile range of brightness distribution of
the embroidery is more than double as the woven structure.
Many current light diffusers for photodynamic therapy are inflexible, and the applied light dose is difficult to adjust during treatment, especially on complex body surfaces. A thin and flexible luminous textile is developed using plastic optical fibers as a light distributor. The textile diffuser is evaluated for flexibility, irradiance, brightness distribution, and temperature rise with a 652-nm laser set to 100 mW. The bending force of the textile diffuser resembles a defined optical film. On the textile surface, an average output power of 3.6±0.6 mW/cm2 is measured, corresponding to a transmission rate of 40±3.8% on an area of 11 cm2. Aluminum backing enhances the irradiance to the face (treatment side). The measured brightness distribution seems to lie within a range similar to other photodynamic therapy (PDT) devices. A power setting of 100 mW increases the temperature of the textile diffuser surface of up to 27°C, and 1 W raises the temperature above 40°C. Results confirm that the flexible textile diffuser supplies suitable radiation for low fluence rate photodynamic therapy on an area of several cm2.
In this article a new medical application is introduced using textile production techniques to deliver a defined radiation dose. The advantage for photodynamic therapy (PDT) is that a flat luminous textile structure can homogeneously illuminate unequal body surfaces. The optical properties of this two-dimensional luminous pad are characterized with a set of bench-scale tests. In vitro investigations on petri dishes with cultivated cells and first clinical tests on animal patients are promising. In addition first measurement results are presented together with an outlook to future developments.