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Biomed Opt Express. 2012 May 1;3(5):1062-76. doi: 10.1364/BOE.3.001062. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Miniature fiber-optic force sensor based on low-coherence Fabry-Pérot interferometry for vitreoretinal microsurgery.


During vitreoretinal surgery, the surgeon manipulates retinal tissue with tool-to-tissue interaction forces below the human sensory threshold. A force sensor (FS) integrated with conventional surgical tools may significantly improve the surgery outcome by providing tactile feedback to the surgeon. We designed and built a surgical tool integrated with a miniature FS with an outer diameter smaller than 1 mm for vitreoretinal surgery based on low-coherence Fabry-Pérot (FP) interferometry. The force sensing elements are located at the tool tip which is in direct contact with tissue during surgery and the FP cavity length is interrogated by a fiber-optic common-path phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. We have calibrated the FS's response to axial and lateral forces and conducted experiments to verify that our FS can simultaneously measure both axial and lateral force components.


(050.2230) Fabry-Perot; (120.3180) Interferometry; (120.5050) Phase measurement; (170.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (280.4788) Optical sensing and sensors

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