Increasing Image Resolution in Fiber Optics Endoscopy Using Segmented Piezo Tubes.

Piezo technology has a part in improving minimally invasive diagnostic procedures, e.g. endoscopy, making them faster, more powerful and, therefore, more patient-friendly. The smallest piezo tubes are used, for example, in scanning fiber endoscopy, in which an optical fiber is rotated by means of a segmented piezo tube. This allows the visual field of the endoscope to be significantly extended. The images created in this way are characterized by a higher degree of sharpness and thus more information content. These properties are currently used especially in the field of optical coherence tomography.

The central imaging component in scanning fiber endoscopes (SFE) is a single-mode optical fiber driven by a tubular piezoelectric actuator. The application-specific actuator is only 4 mm long with a 0.45 mm diameter. Miniaturized piezo tubes can realize ultrafast movements using the inverse piezo effect, causing the optical fiber in the SFE to oscillate in mechanical resonance between 5 and 12 kHz. This results in the scanning of the illumination plane with RGB laser light. The radial vibration movement can be modelled and, subsequently, the optical fiber will move during operation, e.g. in a spiral scan pattern or in Lissajous figures. The electrical voltages applied during operation of the SFE are low since the tubular piezo actuator electrically corresponds to a small capacitor – in typical operation, the voltage is below 50 V.

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As pioneers in developing and manufacturing miniaturized piezo elements, we support your endoscopic application with our customized piezo components.