A miniature camera system placed inside a small capsule, that swallowed, and then transmits images during it’s journey through the gastrointestinal tract. Capsule endoscopy (CE) or video capsule endoscopy (VCE) provides diagnostic imaging of the small intestines. Israeli Gastroenterologist Dr. Gavreil Idda working for Israel company Elscient (previously worked for Israel Ministry of Defense) Incorporated, and Dr. Eitan Scapa from Boston, developed the concept of a “missile” that could be swallowed and passed through the Gastrointestinal tract, and transmit images along the way. In 1997, a patent for this video capsule endoscopy was approved in the United States. On August 1, 2001, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the capsule for U.S. market. Disposable capsule components consist of digital camera, battery, radio transmitter, and light source. Data recorder or network work devise, are worn by patients around the waist. Recording is up to eight hours, 50, 000 images are taken, and then the information is transmitted to a hard drive for examination. The Data recorder weighs 305 grams, and is powered by nickel — metal batteries. Patients are required not to eat any foods prior to twelve years before the capsule is swallowed. The capsule is swallowed with a glass of water. Then spends half an hour in the stomach, three of fours hours in the small intestines, four to five hours in the large bowl, then passes through the stool or ostomy within 24 – 36 hours, and most patients do not notice the capsule passage in the stool. The capsule is cylindrical shape, and weighting 3.7 grams. Less than one percent of patients require surgery to remove the capsule, if the capsule becomes lodged in the narrow segment of the bowl. Patients that have difficulty to swallow, pacemakers or gastrointestinal obstructions would not be able to use capsule endoscopy. Based upon thirty-two independent studies, capsule endoscopy diagnosed 71 percent of patients compared to 41 percent of patients screened with other methods, for small bowl disorders.
The procedures provides a better diagnostic examination then the conventional endooscopic techniques, which is limited examination of the small bowl because of the length of the small intestines which is 30 feet long, only four to five feet can be visualized and the complex loop configuration. Other current methods for examination of the small bowl includes Barium X – rays, provides limited diagnostic results. Patients that have endooscopic examination require sedation, which has certain amount risks. Video capsule requires no sedation. Capsule endoscopy allows a doctor to examine the patient’s entire gastrointestinal tract, includes the three portions of the small intestines (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum). The function of the small intestines is to digest and absorb nutrients from food. Diagnosis can be determined, if there is detection of polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), ulcers, and tumors of the small intestines. Capsule endoscopy cost as much as $1,500, and covered by insurance companies in at least twenty-four states.
Researchers at the City University of New York and City College of New York, have advance the video capsule endoscopy, by adding the capability to move the capsule by a remote controlled radio signal. The upgraded technology referred to Compact Photonic Explorer (CPE). This device measures five milliliters, and comprises a transport capsule that contains imaging, data — transmission and data — collection capabilities. Researchers received a U.S. patent for a “remote — controllable, microscale device for use in in-vivo medical diagnosis and/or treatment.” The CPE can detect cancer, and monitor body functions by combining imaging, polarization, spectroscopy, fluorescence, and biosenor technologies to target a specific object in real — time imaging, and screening. After the capsule enters the body, an operator using radio controls and computer software, that can guide it to the various locations. Eventually the CPE will be able, by remote control to deliver treatment to exact locations within the body, including laser tissue removal and tissue welding. Future CPE devices will be smaller and will be able to evaluate subsurface skin lesions, an important factor in treatment of melanoma.
Infotonics Technology Center and Medi – photonics Development Company, a subsidiary of Cherry Hill New Jersey – based Mediscience Technology (symbol: MDSC) will jointly develop Compact Photonic Explorer. The participants that fund Infotonics Technology include: Eastman Kodak Company, Xerox, Corning, and non — profit corporation that operates New York State Center’s of Excellence in Photonics and Microsystems. Infotonics Technology will provide $1.34 million grant to develop Compact Photonic Explorer.