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A Legged Anchoring Mechanism for Capsule Endoscopes Using Micropatterned Adhesives

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3 Author(s)
Glass, P. ; Biomed. Eng. Dept. & NanoRobotics Lab., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA ; Cheung, E. ; Sitti, M.

This paper presents a new concept for an anchoring mechanism to enhance existing capsule endoscopes. The mechanism consists of three actuated legs with compliant feet lined with micropillar adhesives to be pressed into the intestine wall to anchor the device at a fixed location. These adhesive systems are inspired by gecko and beetle foot hairs. Single-leg and full capsule mathematical models of the forces generated by the legs are analyzed to understand capsule performance. Empirical friction models for the interaction of the adhesives with an intestinal substrate were experimentally determined in vitro using dry and oil-coated elastomer micropillar arrays with 140 mum pillar diameter, 105 mum spacing between pillars, and an aspect ratio of 1:1 on fresh porcine small intestine specimens. Capsule prototypes were also tested in a simulated intestine environment and compared with predicted peristaltic loads to assess the viability of the proposed design. The experimental results showed that a deployed 10 gr capsule robot can withstand axial peristaltic loads and anchor reliably when actuation forces are greater than 0.27 N using dry micropillars. Required actuation forces may be reduced significantly by using micropillars coated with a thin silicone oil layer.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 12 )