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The telecommunication industry regulates optical connectivity performance with geometrical measurements, the specialty fiber industry traditionally performs only a visual inspection of their fiber assemblies.

With a global population that’s both growing and living longer, the world’s healthcare providers are increasingly looking to advanced biomedical instrumentation to enable more efficient patient diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. In this context, biomedical sensing applications of optical fiber are of growing importance.

Popular SMA Growing Markets:

HOT > Specialty Fiber APPLICATIONS

Fiber-optic biomedical sensors

Optical fiber sensors comprise a light source, optical fiber, external transducer, and photodetector. They sense by detecting the modulation of one or more of the properties of light that are guided inside the fiber intensity, wavelength, or polarization,

medical laser

Insertion loss (IL) and return loss (RL) measurements are not as demanding for specialty fiber applications e.g. medical, spectroscopy, and industrial. Thereupon, SMA interconnects are appealing because testing assemblies are largely limited to visual inspection and insertion loss resulting in lower production costs. On average, SMA core sizes vary from 125um to 1200um. Most often the devices available for surface geometry and inspection analysis are limited to a 250um view which is required by IEC/Telcordia standards. This is changing but currently, most available instruments cannot measure the larger area of concern therefore no standards are needed.

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SMA Observations:

  • SMA design technology seems to be unconcerned with vibration since connector ends don’t touch
  • SMA is suitable for Multimode but unfriendly to Singlemode fiber.
  • SMA is difficult for field termination.
  • The frequency of mating may impact SMA performance
  • SMA typically is not keyed making it much harder to repeat the positioning of fiber with multiple matings
  • SMA polishing often involves adding unique procedures for consistent yields

Large Core Fiber Splitter (UV-VIS-NIR Multimode Fiber Optic Coupler) from Lfiber

Most often the devices available for surface geometry and inspection analysis are limited to a 250um view which is required by IEC/Telcordia standards.

*note the fiber core choices

**when you use … Sticklers® CleanClicker Cleaners and CeanStixx Swabs works best with the Sticklers® Fiber Optic Splice and Connector Cleaner cleaning fluid (#POC03M)

*** Remember Stubborn debris, dirt contamination, and oils, all respond to Wet/Dry applications. Scratches, pits, and cracks do NOT.

Conversely, IL and RL are critical to most telecommunication industry applications. Hence, we have the more popular optical fiber connectors SC, LC, ST, and MT Fiber Arrays used in Telecommunication applications. Optical fiber connectors are used to join optical fibers where a connect/disconnect capability is required. Due to the polishing and tuning (concentricity and eccentricity) procedures may be incorporated into optical connector assembly manufacturing. Also, assembly and polishing operations can be performed in the field, for example, to terminate long runs at a patch panel.

specialty fiber

Fiber Optics and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is one of the most frequent ways fiber optics is used in medicine. Fiber optics are flexible and lightweight which makes them perfect for use with small incisions. There has been a global rise in the incidences of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, kidney stones, and arthritis, which has created a greater demand for minimally invasive surgery. Traditional surgery utilizes much larger incisions which also carry more risk and bring much longer recovery time for patients. On the other hand, minimally invasive surgery comes with far less pain, faster recovery, and a lower risk of infection.

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