Tribology Letters

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 143–149 | Cite as

Experimental investigation of frictional and viscoelastic properties of intestine for microendoscope application

  • J.-S. Kim
  • I.-H. Sung
  • Y.-T. Kim
  • E.-Y. Kwon
  • D.-E. KimEmail author
  • Y. H. Jang


The information on the frictional resistance of a self-propelled robotic capsule endoscope moving inside the body is very important for the design and the performance enhancement of such parameters of the capsule endoscope as power consumption, motion control and positioning accuracy. Based on this motivation, the ultimate goal of this research was to develop an analytical model that can predict the frictional resistance of the capsule endoscope moving inside the living body. In this work, experimental investigations of the fundamental frictional characteristics and the viscoelastic behaviors of the small intestine were performed by using custom-built testers and various capsule dummies. The small intestine of a pig was used for the experiments. Experimental results showed that the average frictional force was 10–50 mN and higher moving speed of the capsule dummy resulted in larger frictional resistance of the capsule. In addition, the friction coefficient did not change significantly with respect to the apparent area of contact between the capsule dummy and the intestine, and also the friction coefficients decreased with an increase in the normal load and varied from 0.08 to 0.2. Such frictional behaviors could be explained by the lubrication characteristics of the intestine surface and typical viscoelastic characteristics of the small intestine material. Also, based on the experimental results, a viscoelasticity model for the stress relaxation of the small intestine could be derived.


biotribology capsule endoscope small intestine stress relaxation viscoelasticity 



Friction force (N)


Friction coefficient


Normal force applied to the capsule (N)


Stress applied to the small intestine (Pa, N/m2)


Strain applied to the small intestine


Time (s)

E1, E2, E3

Elastic modulus of spring (Pa, N/m2)

η1, η2

Viscosity of fluid in dashpot (Pa s)



This research has been supported by the Intelligent Microsystem Center (IMC;, which carries out one of the 21st Century’s Frontier R&D Projects sponsored by the Korea Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-S. Kim
    • 1
    • 3
  • I.-H. Sung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y.-T. Kim
    • 1
  • E.-Y. Kwon
    • 1
  • D.-E. Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Y. H. Jang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringYonsei UniversitySeodaemoon-gu, SeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringHannam UniversityDaedeok-gu, DaejeonKorea
  3. 3.Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.Yeongtong-Gu, SuwonKorea

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