In this paper, a handheld contact probe based on sapphire shaped crystal was developed for the intraoperative optical diagnosis and aspiration of malignant brain tissue combined with the laser hemostasis. Such a favorable combination of several functions in a single instrument significantly increases its clinical relevance. It makes possible highly-accurate real-time detection and removal of either large-scale malignancies or even separate invasive cancer cells. The proposed neuroprobe was integrated into the clinical neurosurgical workflow for the intraoperative fluorescence identification and removal of malignant tissues of the brain.
Recently, terahertz (THz) photonic crystal waveguides based on sapphire shaped crystals have been proposed. These waveguides combine unique properties of sapphire with advantages of the edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) or Stepanov technique of shaped crystal growth and allow guiding THz waves in a wide spectral range with small dispersion and losses. The sapphire photonic crystal waveguides are capable for operation in aggressive environment, which makes possible to perform high-temperature and high-pressure THz measurements, as well as THz measurements of aggressive chemicals. In this paper, the technological aspects of sapphire THz photonic crystal waveguide manufacturing by the EFG/Stepanov technique (including, the problems of seeding and automated control of multichannel shaped crystal growth) have been described. Prospective applications of sapphire photonic crystal waveguides in various branches of THz science and technology have been discussed.