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BIOPTICS: Biocomposite optical fibers for smart interactive textiles and sensing

Cellulose-based optical fibers are a novel product group that have a high application potential around obvious optical fiber applications. In BIOPTICS project we are developing manufacture techniques for cellulose based optical fibers and study their optical and application properties. The goals are:

  • Manufacture optical fibers from cellulose and cellulose derivatives

  • Understand the material property – optical property correlations

  • Demonstrate new applications and study design aspects in development of light textile products.

Main results

BIOPTICS cellulose based optical fibers have opened a totally new application field for optical fibers that are not possible with traditional glass and plastic optical fibers. Cellulose has a responsive material that makes possible to use the fiber as an active element in sensors. The cellulose based optical fibers can be also inserted into textile materials for preparaing textiles with sensor or light therapeutic properties.


  • Regenerated cellulose and cellulose derivative fibers can be manufactured using the dry-jet wet-spinning approach.

  • Light attenuation of cellulose fibers is correlating with the substituents of cellulose: Cellulose derivative-based fibers show lower light attenuations (below 1.5 dB/cm).

  • Touch and respiratory sensor applications were demonstrated.

  • Optical fibers were weaved into textiles to prepare functional textiles

Research Project Managers

Olli Ikkala, Aalto

Hannes Orelma, VTT

Project status

Funded by FinnCERES from January 2021 onwards.

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