During recent decades, minimally invasive thermal treatments (i.e., Radiofrequency ablation, Laser ablation, Microwave ablation, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound ablation, and Cryo-ablation) have gained widespread recognition in the field of tumor removal. These techniques induce a localized temperature increase or decrease to remove the tumor while the surrounding healthy tissue remains intact. An accurate measurement of tissue temperature may be particularly beneficial to improve treatment outcomes, because it can be used as a clear end-point to achieve complete tumor ablation and minimize recurrence. Among the several thermometric techniques used in this field, fiber optic sensors (FOSs) have several attractive features: high flexibility and small size of both sensor and cabling, allowing insertion of FOSs within deep-seated tissue; metrological characteristics, such as accuracy (better than 1 °C), sensitivity (e.g., 10 pm·°C−1
for Fiber Bragg Gratings), and frequency response (hundreds of kHz), are adequate for this application; immunity to electromagnetic interference allows the use of FOSs during Magnetic Resonance- or Computed Tomography-guided thermal procedures. In this review the current status of the most used FOSs for temperature monitoring during thermal procedure (e.g., fiber Bragg Grating sensors; fluoroptic sensors) is presented, with emphasis placed on their working principles and metrological characteristics. The essential physics of the common ablation techniques are included to explain the advantages of using FOSs during these procedures.
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