Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Livestream from the Digestive System: Magnet-Guided Camera Capsules for More Pleasant Gastroscopies


Many patients dread the thought of having to swallow tubes to give their doctors a look at their gastrointestinal tracts. Long waits caused by the lack of specialists offering the procedure make this experience even worse. Working with two dedicated partners, Fraunhofer IZM is researching a completely tubeless technology in the nuEndo project supported by Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research. Their vision: a simple-to-swallow capsule, equipped with cameras and guided by an external magnetic system.

Gastroscopies remain risky procedures that need to be conducted by highly qualified and sought-after specialists after years of training. The natural gag reflex can mean that patients injure the lining of their esophagus when having to swallow the traditional tubes, and bleeding or secondary infections are not rare occurrences.

The procedure is often done under full anesthesia, which in itself entails many, sometimes lethal dangers.

To combat these risks, the partners on the nuEndo project have come up with a special capsule that may replace the endoscopy tubes used in traditional gastroscopic procedures with a completely wireless technology.

An external magnetic system is used to guide the capsule through the patient’s body, from where it transmits live images captured with its built-in sensors.

One particular benefit of the new method: By contrast to the usual gastroscopic tubes, the capsules can be administered by medical staff without anesthesia. After swallowing the capsule, it takes approx. 20 seconds for the high-tech system to reach the stomach and start its diagnostic work.

Certain conditions might still make traditional gastroscopy inevitable because of the established technology’s higher resolution. The gastroscopic capsules do, however, promise to shorten the process by cutting out long waiting times before a first diagnosis can be made and any further analysis or treatment introduced.

Professor Dr. Jörg Albert, Head Physician at the Robert Bosch Hospital of Stuttgart in Germany and clinical associate partner of the nuEndo project, explains: “The noninvasive and painless method makes this new form of gastroscopy an easier choice for patients whose symptoms might not yet be severe enough to motivate them to undergo traditional gastroscopic analysis. They simply have to swallow a tiny capsule and can then relax and let the procedure run its course. This means that the nuEndo system promises to improve early recognition of many conditions, make treatment more effective, and help monitor the recovery process.”

As leading experts for the miniaturization of electronic systems, the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration was entrusted with the challenge of scaling down the capsule. Another partner in the project carefully coordinated by Ovesco Endoscopy AG is SENSODRIVE GmbH, a spinoff of the German Aerospace Center, who contributed the external magnetic controls to manage the analytical procedure.

The project has received approx. €1.7 million in funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research in support of the innovative research undertaken by the commercial partners and will run until 2022.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Manuel Seckel
+49 30 46403-740


Susann Thoma | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Bend and snap: New interventions for rib fractures
22.01.2020 | Medical University of South Carolina

nachricht Smartphone cameras can speed up urinary tract infection diagnosis
08.01.2020 | University of Bath

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Protein pores packed in polymers make super-efficient filtration membranes

A multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists has developed a new class of filtration membranes for a variety of applications, from water purification to small-molecule separations to contaminant-removal processes, that are faster to produce and higher performing than current technology. This could reduce energy consumption, operational costs and production time in industrial separations.

Led by Manish Kumar, associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, the research team describes their new...

Im Focus: Integrate Micro Chips for electronic Skin

Researchers from Dresden and Osaka present the first fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits which opens the path towards the development of electronic skin.

Human skin is a fascinating and multifunctional organ with unique properties originating from its flexible and compliant nature. It allows for interfacing with...

Im Focus: Dresden researchers discover resistance mechanism in aggressive cancer

Protease blocks guardian function against uncontrolled cell division

Researchers of the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC), together with an international...

Im Focus: New roles found for Huntington's disease protein

Crucial role in synapse formation could be new avenue toward treatment

A Duke University research team has identified a new function of a gene called huntingtin, a mutation of which underlies the progressive neurodegenerative...

Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

Latest News

Scientists find far higher than expected rate of underwater glacial melting

29.01.2020 | Earth Sciences

What's in your water?

29.01.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Screening sweet peppers for organic farming

29.01.2020 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>