More news from the remote-controlled gastroinestinal visualization industry:
..Researchers behind a new take on the camera-in-a-pill claim its ability to move and stop on command will give doctors greater control over the images it takes, allowing them to focus on particular areas of concern.
…The radio-controlled crawling capsule has six legs, each with tiny hooks on the end. These help prevent the device slipping on mucus in the intestine as it moves along, but are too small to damage the soft tissues, says Menciassi. The capsule can park at any site of interest by releasing a clamp with two 5-millimetre-long jaws, each with teeth. These grab onto the gut wall tightly enough to resist the muscular pulsations trying to push the device along.
The clamp may sound painful, but Menciassi says it only pinches a small area of tissue, and the intestine has relatively few nerve endings. “All the indications are that this will be far less uncomfortable than a colonoscopy or gastroscopy, in which the intestine is inflated, causing much pain to the patient,” she says (Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, vol 15, p 2045). So far, Menciassi’s team has tested the robot’s mobility in an artificial gut made of pig tissue, but they hope to begin human trials soon.
We like their marketing approach: “Hey, it’s better than a colonoscopy.” We wish they would all just acknowledge, however, that these cameras are looking less like “pills” and more like “bugs”.
More from the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering…
Flashback: Worm Movement for Colonoscopy, Legs for Capsule Endoscope