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Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) can be considered an example of disruptive technology since it represents an appealing alternative to traditional diagnostic techniques. This technology enables inspection of the digestive system without discomfort or need for sedation, thus preventing the risks of conventional endoscopy, and has the potential of encouraging patients to undergo gastrointestinal (GI) tract examinations. However, currently available clinical products are passive devices whose locomotion is driven by natural peristalsis, with the drawback of failing to capture the images of important GI tract regions, since the doctor is unable to control the capsule's motion and orientation. To address these limitations, many research groups are working to develop active locomotion devices that allow capsule endoscopy to be performed in a totally controlled manner. This would enable the doctor to steer the capsule towards interesting pathological areas and to accomplish medical tasks. This review presents a research update on WCE and describes the state of the art of the basic modules of current swallowable devices, together with a perspective on WCE potential for screening, diagnostic, and therapeutic endoscopic procedures.
Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Reviews in (Volume:4 )
Date of Publication: 2011