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Advance in multimode optical fibers leads to significant advance in medical endoscopy

from American Physical Society

In medical endoscopy, light is sent down a thin optical fiber that is inserted inside the body, and a series of optical elements relay an image to the end of the endoscope where a medical practitioner can interpret it. Thinness of the fiber is desirable from a patient comfort perspective, and also from the perspective of getting an image from a minimally perturbed state. But thin fibers lead to speckle, that is, the linear, deterministic mixing of propagated modes that distorts an image. In Physical Review Letters, a research team in Korea has proposed a way to work through the speckle though a technique called phase conjugation. Through this technique it is possible to unscramble a distorted image though characterization of the transmission matrix, which relates the distorted image back to the original optical field, i.e. how an object appears to how it actually looks. This technique has been used in radar and acoustic applications for decades. But now they are increasingly finding their way into the arsenal of techniques for biomedical applications. more

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