Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny endoscopes bring medical costs down

29.04.2005


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.”


Harendt explains that existing endoscope heads, with the image sensor integrated into the head, are usually about twice this size. Other types with the image sensor set back from the head of the probe tend to suffer image resolution losses due to the additional fibre-optic link to the head that is needed.

The project team are now finalising the pill-sized wireless IVP2 probe. While the travel of the pill cannot be controlled, a tiny motor in the head enables the image sensor to swivel for views in different directions. The team has chosen to go for an external power source, where the probe draws power by induction from a vest worn by the patient. The vest also picks up the images transmitted by the probe, as well as transmitting them wirelessly to a nearby PC.

Both prototypes transmit colour images. However, Harendt says, the challenge for IVP2 is the bandwidth required. “The images have a high pixel content, which means high data transmission needs, so we are looking at how to compress the data to reduce the bandwidth required.”

Another of the key objectives for the IVP team, she stresses, was to make the technology cheap enough to allow the scopes to be disposable. “Obviously the IVP2 pill is disposable, but if we can also produce the wired IVP1 scope cheaply enough, full disposability brings great advantages for hospitals in reduced sterilisation costs.”

The two prototypes are now being readied for the required medical evaluation tests. One of the project partners, an endoscope manufacturer, is already examining the possibility of turning the IVP1 prototype into a commercial product suitable for use in abdominal surgery, gynaecology, urology and gastro-enterology.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>