SPINNER technology for medical laser applications in diagnosis, therapy and research

Medical applications like intravascular imaging (IVI) and imaging of other cavities in a body use fiber optic transmission technologies as a key enabling component. In optical IVI the dominating technology is optical coherence tomography. Further technologies are near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), fluorescence imaging, or optoacoustic endoscopy and a lot more where the analysis takes place in the static system. A complementary approach is to rotate an analysis circuit board.

In all cases a catheter with a rotating inner system is introduced into the body while rotation of an axial movement leads to a helical image of e.g. an arteria. Typically a rotary joint is then used to transmit the high volume data from the rotating part to the stationary system.

SPINNER’s fiber optic rotary joints combine superior optical performance with outstanding mechanical properties. Its design is optimized for conditions arising under high rotational speeds of up to 20,000 rpm. At the same time, no tradeoffs in terms of the optical efficiency have to be accepted: a typical insertion loss of less than 1.0 dB together with a high return loss of 50 dB assure outstanding signal transmission quality.

Unique technology: A polarization maintaining fiber optical rotary joint

A unique feature of our products is a polarization maintaining fiber optical rotary joint that de-rotates the polarization of the light and shows a high extinction ratio without any blind spots over rotation. A typical application is the polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography.  

This enables multimodal imaging, where a conventional OCT image is overlaid with a fluorescence or spectroscopic (or similar) image. High rotational speeds of up to 24’000 rpm make live imaging with 400 fps possible. Reliable and durable mechanics ensure a long lifetime and provide the basis for a constant optical performance.

A totally different medical application is the optogenetics field. There, the light is used to control the activity of different cell types with light. FORJs are key enabling components to allow for in vivo optical stimulation for neuroscience research. For this application, typically large core fibers (LCF) are used, starting with diameters of 100 µm. SPINNER offers solutions up to four channels, with a low torque or with an integrated motor. 

SPINNER offers fiber optical rotary joints with one channel and with two channels, where two singlemode channels or a combination of a singlemode channel with a multimode large core fiber (LCF) is feasible. Combinations with an additional power transmission, a motor and/or an encoder are also available.

Significant experience in the medical industry

SPINNER can look back on many years of experience as a specialist in the field of high-frequency technology and components of fiber optics in the medical sector. With a pneumatically operated 7-16 coaxial switch for computer tomographs, SPINNER entered the development and supply of RF components for diagnostic imaging in 1984.

Since then, SPINNER has been supplying well-known manufacturers of medical technology equipment with components of the highest precision, performance and durability.