FBGS International NV

4DSP Announces Revolutionary 3D Shape Sensing Capabilities for Medical Applications

Austin, TX - 4DSP, the leading global provider of Optical Sensing Systems that use light to test and measure both the integrity of materials and the performance of new design solutions for the energy, mining, medical, and aerospace & defense industries, announced the release of groundbreaking 3D shape sensing technology that will change the landscape for medical instrumentation developers and physicians.

“There are numerous opportunities for improving the efficacy and safety of minimally invasive, or invasive surgical procedures using 4DSP’s technology,” stated Alex Tongue, 4DSP Application Engineer for Fiber Optic Sensing Technology. “Our system based on continuous fiber optic sensors can aid in navigating and positioning endoscopes and catheters by overcoming several of the shortcomings of traditional methods,” he added.

The advantages of optical shape sensors in medical applications are their very small diameter and chemical inertness which allow them to be integrated with existing minimally invasive technologies. The sensors are unique in that they can sense in a spatially continuous manner, providing information about the location of the entire length of the instrument without the use of X-rays or ultrasound. The 3D data generated can be plotted in real-time and displayed visually on a monitor to show the position of the instrument. The image can also be compared to known coordinates of locations within the body, enabling physicians to pair the visual reference from the tip of an endoscope with knowledge of how and where the rest of the instrument is positioned. This improved positional awareness can help with real-time guidance of the instrument, minimize the injection of foreign material into a patient’s body, and do away with radiation.

”The boundaries of fiber optic sensing techniques are forever being pushed and this shape sensing application has taken the technology to a whole new level, says FBGS Sales & Marketing Manager David Johnson. Our ‘All Grating Fiber’ used in this application, comprises densely spaced Draw Tower Gratings (DTG®s) over the full length of the fiber. This makes precise measurements possible, over a wide strain or temperature range with spatial resolution down to a few mm. This is a great opportunity for 4DSP and ourselves to combine these technologies to produce this shape sensing solution that offers so much promise to the medical industry”.

4DSP’s 3D shape sensing can overcome the complexity associated with ultrasonic and fluoroscopic visualization methods and mitigate surgical risk by enabling the development of repeatable, accurate, and effective techniques. 4DSP won the R&D Magazine R&D 100 Award in 2013 for its fiber optic sensing technology in 2013.

4DSP's Fiber Optic Sensing System is available in Europe exclusively through FBGS