Endoscopes are electro-optical instruments used to visualize the internal cavities of the human body. For the upper digestive tract, specialized endoscopes used in visualisation are known as esophagoscopes whilst the routine examination is known as esophagoscopy. One of the methods of esophagoscopy is using capsule endoscopy where images of the gastrointestinal tract is wirelessly transmitted from the capsule via electromagnetic waves to an external imaging device.
However, there are limitations to the capsule endoscopy method. Capsule endoscopes were developed for small intestine examination and thus have limited diagnostic potential for oesophageal examinations. The capsule also passes through the esophagus only once and the doctor is only able to perform a limited examination based on the little details. Current remedies of capsule attachment to a section of the esophagus for prolonged examination is very uncomfortable for patients.
Hence, in this technology, a new capsule endoscope is designed and developed to address the limitations of the current approaches.
Compared with conventional capsule endoscopes, the technology is a new design shaped like a modified truncated cone. Within this cone, a cavity allows for an endoscopic module to be inserted, enabling easier removal of the endoscope from the gastrointestinal tract through the upper esophageal sphincter. This device has built-in electric and voltage conductors on which the capsules hang.
The endoscopic module consists of an optical system coupled to the imaging camera which generates an optical data transmission input. Between the optical assembly, imaging camera, epoxy polymer cylinder and the light-emitting diodes, there is an air gap. The remaining space within the capsule is filled with a cured dielectric polymer.
The device is waterproof and allows the retrograde scanning of the esophagus and the upper stomach. Current laboratory tests with 5 subjects have showed the effectiveness of this new design.