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The amplification properties of different photonic crystal fibers have been studied by means of a full vector finite-element modal formulation combined with a population and propagation rate equation solver. A honeycomb as well as a cobweb photonic crystal fiber have been considered. The consequences of the defect dimension and the dopant radius on the field intensity distribution as well as the overlap integrals have been analyzed. Results demonstrate that a proper photonic crystal fiber design can be usefully exploited in order to obtain active fibers with superior characteristics compared to standard step index ones. In particular, photonic crystal fibers open up the possibility of a gain medium with highly flexible geometric, dispersion, and amplifying characteristics.