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 Hybrid microscope could bring digital biopsy to the clinic
13.02.2020 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau

nachricht World’s first Parkinson’s patient treated with unique Deep Brain Stimulation device
06.02.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

Im Focus: Quantum fluctuations sustain the record superconductor

Superconductivity approaching room temperature may be possible in hydrogen-rich compounds at much lower pressures than previously expected

Reaching room-temperature superconductivity is one of the biggest dreams in physics. Its discovery would bring a technological revolution by providing...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | 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

Latest News

Gold nanoclusters: new frontier for developing medication for treatment of Alzheimer's disease

17.02.2020 | Life Sciences

Artificial intelligence is becoming sustainable!

17.02.2020 | Information Technology

Catalyst deposition on fragile chips

17.02.2020 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>