Robotic Magnetic Manoeuvring of Endoscopic Video Capsules: Phantom Tests
Video capsule endoscopy is progressively emerging as a non-invasive wireless technology for diagnostic investigations of the digestive tube. It relies on ingestible capsules that allow comfortable gastrointestinal explorations. Despite their attractive capabilities, capsule endoscopes still show today a serious technical lack, which limits their clinical efficacy: their motion can not be controlled. Their movements and orientations are completely random, being exclusively driven by visceral peristalsis and gravity. In order to provide video capsules with motion control properties, a technique based on the application of external magnetic fields, acting on a capsule previously equipped with a magnetic component, was recently proposed. This paper reports the first experimental implementation of this concept with a magnetic robotic system, recently introduced in the clinical practice for different applications in cardiology. The potentialities offered by this robotic system for magnetic controls of gastrointestinal capsules were preliminarily assessed with manoeuvring tests inside a plastic phantom. Results showed the possibility of magnetically guiding the navigation of an endoscopic capsule within the considered experimental set-up, by advantageously using the reliable robotic system already employed for clinical applications. Such an outcome represents the first proof of concept of the proposed technique, which encourages future manoeuvring tests within more challenging environments, including animal trials.
KeywordsCapsule control endoscopic magnetic motion
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.