Background-free fibre optic Brillouin probe for remote mapping of micromechanics

Brillouin spectroscopy is a century-old technique that has recently received renewed interest, as modern instrumentation has transformed it into a powerful contactless and label-free probe of micromechanical properties for biomedical applications. In particular, to fully harness the non-contact and non-destructive nature of Brillouin imaging, there is strong motivation to develop a fibre-integrated device and extend the technology into the domain of in vivo and in situ operation, such as for medical diagnostics. This work presents the first demonstration of a fibre optic Brillouin probe that is capable of mapping the mechanical properties of a tissue-mimicking phantom. This is achieved through combination of miniaturised optical design, advanced hollow-core fibre fabrication and high-resolution 3D printing. The protype probe is compact, background-free and possesses the highest collection efficiency to date, thus provides the foundation of a fibre-based Brillouin device for remote in situ measurements in challenging and otherwise difficult-to-reach environments, for biomedical, material science and industrial applications.

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