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Magnetic Maneuvering of Endoscopic Capsules by Means of a Robotic Navigation System

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2 Author(s)
Federico Carpi* ; Sch. of Eng., Univ. of Pisa, Pisa ; Carlo Pappone

The use of video capsules for noninvasive explorations of the digestive tube is progressively increasing today. At present, the motion of these wireless endoscopic devices cannot be controlled and they proceed by means of visceral peristalsis and gravity. Aimed at enabling a motion control, the technique described here uses an external magnetic field applied to the video capsule, previously coated with a magnetic shell. As a source of controlled magnetic field, a robotic magnetic navigation system, recently introduced in the clinical practice to magnetically steer cardiovascular interventional devices, was suggested in a previous study to be deserving of investigation. The attractive potentialities of this system, along with its current limitations, in order to maneuver endoscopic capsules were studied in this work for the first time, both from a theoretical and an experimental point of view. The actual capabilities were experimentally assessed with preliminary motion control tests on a conventional video capsule inside a human-sized plastic phantom. Results demonstrated the possibility of achieving controlled magnetic maneuvers within the considered environment.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 5 )