Viewing actual images of patients’ internal organs is more and more common in medical procedures. However, in many cases the treatment can be painful or uncomfortable, and high sterilisation costs can limit the procedure’s use. IVP’s prototypes aim to overcome such challenges.
With the IST project IVP finishing in September 2005, the project partners have developed two key prototypes; a new, smaller wired endoscope (called IVP1), and a tiny wireless-imaging probe taken in the form of a pill (IVP2). Both prototypes are equipped with illumination optics as well as mechanical components for swivelling the inbuilt image sensor. Project coordinator Christine Harendt of the Stuttgart Institute for Microelectronics explains further.
“We now have IVP1 ready – a wired prototype which we believe is currently the world’s smallest endoscope. The head is 3.5 millimetres in diameter, about the size of a match head. The image sensor itself is a typical CMOS chip measuring 2.7 by 2.3 millimetres. The great advantage of our prototype is the fact that the image sensor is incorporated into the head of the endoscope, which provides much better images for the surgeon.”
Tara Morris | alfa
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