Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Technology for thinner probes

A single optical fibre could form the basis of thinner endoscopes — long imaging probes with medical, military and industrial uses.

Current endoscopes are made up of millimetre-sized bundles of up to 100,000 fibres. Each fibre transports a single mode of light wave coming from the object being imaged, because the mixing of modes can cause light-wave distortion.

Wonshik Choi at Korea University in Seoul and his colleagues have used a single 200-micrometre-wide fibre to transport multiple modes, by measuring and reverse engineering the distortion that each mode suffers. The authors used their technique to make a three-dimensional map of a sample of rat intestine.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 203901 (2012)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Technology for thinner probes. Nature 491, 641 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing