Biomedical optical fibers

Lab Chip. 2021 Feb 23;21(4):627-640. doi: 10.1039/d0lc01155j.


Optical fibers with the ability to propagate and transfer data via optical signals have been used for decades in medicine. Biomaterials featuring the properties of softness, biocompatibility, and biodegradability enable the introduction of optical fibers' uses in biomedical engineering applications such as medical implants and health monitoring systems. Here, we review the emerging medical and health-field applications of optical fibers, illustrating the new wave for the fabrication of implantable devices, wearable sensors, and photodetection and therapy setups. A glimpse of fabrication methods is also provided, with the introduction of 3D printing as an emerging fabrication technology. The use of artificial intelligence for solving issues such as data analysis and outcome prediction is also discussed, paving the way for the new optical treatments for human health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Humans
  • Optical Fibers*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Prostheses and Implants


  • Biocompatible Materials