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BIOPTICS: Biocomposite optical fibers for smart interactive textiles and sensing

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

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 to:

  • Manufacture optical fibers from cellulose and cellulose derivatives

  • Understand the material property – optical property correlations

  • Identify and investigate new application possibilities e.g. related to healthcare, liquid analysis, and smart textile products.

  • Study potential markets for cellulose-based optical fibers.

Main results

Cellulose-based optical fibers have opened a totally new application field for optical fibers that is not possible to reach with traditional glass and plastic optical fibers. Cellulose is 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 preparing textiles with sensor or light therapeutic properties.


  • We have demonstrated that regenerated cellulose and cellulose derivative fibers can be manufactured using the dry-jet wet-spinning approach.

  • It has been found out that light attenuation in cellulose fibers is correlating with the substituents of cellulose: Cellulose derivative-based fibers show lower light attenuations (below 1.5 dB/cm).

  • We have successfully demonstrated touch, respiratory, and liquid sensor applications.

  • We have weaved optical fibers into textiles to prepare functional textiles.

  • We are exploring how cellulose-based optical fibers could be used to address a variety of global challenges of our time.

Publications (see also the list at the bottom of the page)

  • Guridi Sotomayor, S. (Accepted/In press). E-textiles and Biomaterials: A Literature Review on the use of Novel-Biobased Materials for Smart Textiles. In Proceedings of the Future Textiles Conference 2023 Centre for Print Research.

  • Guridi Sotomayor, S., Pouta, E., Hokkanen, A., & Jaiswal, A. K. (2023). LIGHT TISSUE: Development of cellulose-based optical textile sensors. In TEI '23: Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (pp. 1-14). [27] ACM.

  • Guridi Sotomayor, S., Hokkanen, A., Jaiswal, A. K., Nonappa, N., & Kääriäinen, P. (2022). Integration of Carboxymethyl Cellulose Waveguides for Smart Textile Optical Sensors. In Proceedings of IEEE SENSORS 2022 (pp. 1-4). (Proceedings of IEEE Sensors). IEEE.

  • Jaiswal, A. K., Hokkanen, A., Kapulainen, M., Khakalo, A., Nonappa, Ikkala, O., & Orelma, H. (2022). Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) Optical Fibers for Environment Sensing and Short-Range Optical Signal Transmission. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 14(2), 3315-3323.

  • Guridi Sotomayor, S. (Author). (2022). DIALOGUES - Creating New Textile Futures @ Dipoli. Exhibition, Aalto University.

  • Guridi Sotomayor, S. (Author). (2022). DIALOGUES –Creating New Textile Futures. Exhibition, New York Textile Month.

  • Hokkanen, A., Kapulainen, M., Jaiswal, A. K., Hynninen, V., Nonappa, N., Ikkala, O., & Orelma, H. (2022). Cellulose optical fiber for sensing applications. In I. Gannot, & K. Roodenko (Eds.), Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics, Treatment and Environmental Applications XXII (pp. 1-9). [1195302] (Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging; Vol. 11953). SPIE.

  • Hynninen, V., Chandra, S., Das, S., Amini, M., Dai, Y., Lepikko, S., Mohammadi, P., Hietala, S., Ras, R. H. A., Sun, Z., Ikkala, O., & Nonappa (2021). Luminescent Gold Nanocluster-Methylcellulose Composite Optical Fibers with Low Attenuation Coefficient and High Photostability. Small, 17(27), [2005205].

  • Orelma, H., Hokkanen, A., Leppänen, I., Kammiovirta, K., Kapulainen, M., & Harlin, A. (2020). Optical cellulose fiber made from regenerated cellulose and cellulose acetate for water sensor applications. Cellulose, 27, 1543-1553.

  • Hynninen, V., Mohammadi, P., Wagermaier, W., Hietala, S., Linder, M. B., Ikkala, O., & Nonappa (2019). Methyl cellulose/cellulose nanocrystal nanocomposite fibers with high ductility. European Polymer Journal, 112, 334-345.

Research Project Managers

Project status

Funded by FinnCERES from January 2021 onwards.

Sofia Guridi's work titled "Light Tissue" received an Honorable Mention and was a finalist in the Dorothy Waxman International Textile Design Prize competition in 2022.

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