Health monitoring with optical fiber sensors: From human body to civil structures

Éric Pinet, Caroline Hamel, Branko Glišić, Daniele Inaudi, Nicolae Miron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

37 Scopus citations


Although structural health monitoring and patient monitoring may benefit from the unique advantages of optical fiber sensors (OFS) such as electromagnetic interferences (EMI) immunity, sensor small size and long term reliability, both applications are facing different realities. This paper presents, with practical examples, several OFS technologies ranging from single-point to distributed sensors used to address the health monitoring challenges in medical and in civil engineering fields. OFS for medical applications are single-point, measuring mainly vital parameters such as pressure or temperature. In the intra-aortic balloon pumping (IABP) therapy, a miniature OFS can monitor in situ aortic blood pressure to trigger catheter balloon inflation/deflation in counter-pulsation with heartbeats. Similar sensors reliably monitor the intracranial pressure (ICP) of critical care patients, even during surgical interventions or examinations under medical resonance imaging (MRI). Temperature OFS are also the ideal monitoring solution for such harsh environments. Most of OFS for structural health monitoring are distributed or have long gage length, although quasi-distributed short gage sensors are also used. Those sensors measure mainly strain/load, temperature, pressure and elongation. SOFO type deformation sensors were used to monitor and secure the Bolshoi Moskvoretskiy Bridge in Moscow. Safety of Plavinu dam built on clay and sand in Latvia was increased by monitoring bitumen joints displacement and temperature changes using SMARTape and Temperature Sensitive Cable read with DiTeSt unit. A similar solution was used for monitoring a pipeline built in an unstable area near Rimini in Italy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2007
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2007 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 19 2007Mar 22 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Distributed and quasi-distributed sensors
  • Dynamic and static monitoring
  • Electromagnetic interference immunity
  • Elongation
  • Instrumented catheter
  • Miniature sensors
  • Pressure
  • Single-point sensor
  • Strain
  • Temperature


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