Optical fibers and waveguides in general effectively control and modulate light propagation, and these tools have been extensively used in communication, lighting and sensing. Recently, they have received increasing attention in biomedical applications. By delivering light into deep tissue via these devices, novel applications including biological sensing, stimulation and therapy can be realized. Therefore, implantable fibers and waveguides in biocompatible formats with versatile functionalities are highly desirable. In this review, we provide an overview of recent progress in the exploration of advanced optical fibers and waveguides for biomedical applications. Specifically, we highlight novel materials design and fabrication strategies to form implantable fibers and waveguides. Furthermore, their applications in various biomedical fields such as light therapy, optogenetics, fluorescence sensing and imaging are discussed. We believe that these newly developed fiber and waveguide based devices play a crucial role in advanced optical biointerfaces.
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