Optical design of endoscopic shape-tracker using quantum dots embedded in fiber bundles

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

Publication Date



Colonoscopy is the current gold standard for colon cancer screening and diagnosis. However, the near-blind navigation process employed during colonoscopy results in endoscopist disorientation and scope looping, leading to missed detection of tumors, incorrect localization, and pain for the patient. A fiber optic bend sensor, which would fit into the working channel of a colonoscope, is developed to aid navigation through the colon during colonoscopy. The bend sensor is comprised of a bundle of seven fibers doped with quantum dots (QDs). Each fiber within the bundle contains a unique region made up of three zones with differently-colored QDs, spaced 120° apart circumferentially on the fiber. During bending at the QD region, light lost from the fiber's core is coupled into one of the QD zones, inducing fluorescence of the corresponding color whose intensity is proportional to the degree of bending. A complementary metal oxide semiconductor camera is used to obtain an image of the fluorescing end faces of the fiber bundle. The location of the fiber within the bundle, the color of fluorescence, and the fluorescence intensity are used to determine the bundle's bending location, direction, and degree of curvature, respectively. Preliminary results obtained using a single fiber with three QD zones and a seven-fiber bundle containing one active fiber with two QDs (180° apart) demonstrate the feasibility of the concept. Further developments on fiber orientation during bundling and the design of a graphical user interface to communicate bending information are also discussed. © 2009 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.