Problemstatement Gastroenterologists routinely use endoscopes to diagnoseand treat pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract. However, such methods maypose difficulty upon the patient and do not allow access to the smallintestinal tract and some other areas. Wireless capsule Robots have been developed totackle this issue and attempts have been made to access smaller parts of theintestines. The pill-shaped robots have generally only diagnostic function,which is use cameras to take pictures of the intestinal wall and then pass themback for evaluation.
This enables for the detection of tumors, or GI conditionssuch as Crohn’s disease. The challenges that these systems face is that theyhave limited diagnostic capabilities and they do not offer the ability toperform therapy to the affected areas leaving only the options of administeringlarge quantities of drugs or surgical intervention. In order to address the challenge of therapeuticfunctions of a capsule robot in the GI tract, this thesis proposal presents a conceptualdesign of a capsule robot which enables the function of targeted drug deliverysystem.
This proposal first provides a background of capsule root technologythrough the evaluation of current and past literature. 2. Background In recent years, and increasingamount of robotic systems has been implemented in surgical procedures. Thesesystems have customized design for some particular procedures such as eyesurgery, cardiac surgery, and abdominal surgery. Due to the improvement ofsmall-scale electronics, the tendency to create small-scale medical robots hasbecome common. 4.1 Capsule RobotsThe GI tract is home to many deadlyhuman diseases. Colorectal cancer alone is the third most common cancer in menand the second in women worldwide 43.
However, most GI diseases can beprevented – or timely treated – if the diagnosis occurs at an early stage ofdevelopment. For this reason, GI screening is playing an increasingly importantrole in healthcare systems worldwide. Wired endoscopy technology is used forexamining the upper and the lower parts of the GI tract, it is a commonprocedure for diagnosing problems in the GI tract. In such procedure, a wire isthat contains a camera at the front end which is connected to a computer at theother end is used. This wire allows the medical doctor to examine the necessaryareas through image transfer to a monitor.
However, there is a disadvantage tosuch systems. Wired endoscopes are unable to examine the entire GI tract, anddoes not reach to the small intestine. The procedure may also cause discomfort,vomiting and pain for the patients. Therefore, in the recent years,there has been a growing demand for surgical procedures that can be less traumaticto patients, less invasive and take shorter times. These issues are beingtackled by developing capsule robots, or capsule endoscopes, that employminimally invasive diagnostic tools. Itis proposed that through the application of capsule robots, it is possible toperform procedures in the gastrointestinal tract, such as detecting tumors orother abnormalities.A capsule endoscope is able toexamine the entire GI tract with minor risks and less pain.
The patient swallows the capsule, which willbe propelled through the GI tract. As the capsule moves through the tract, thesmall camera takes pictures and then the processor transfers those imagesthrough a transmitter into an external recorder. After the examination iscomplete, the receiver is returned to a physician for medical monitoring anddiagnosing. Many platforms have been developed since the first passive capsuleendoscopy was released 15 years ago by Given Imaging 4.
The main capsuleendoscopy platforms are PillCam5, Olympus America Endo-Capsule 6, OMOM Pill7, Micro Pill 8 and MC capsule endoscopy 9. However, only capsules thathave swallowable size of 26 mm x 11 mm were approved for clinical use. 4.2 Typical Design The typical design of the existing capsule technology(Figure1) has an illumination source (LEDs), a sensor camera, two buttonbatteries, a microcontroller and a radio frequency system (RF). ConventionalWCE have sufficiently small geometry to allow them to pass through the smallintestines and navigate the ileocolic valve without becoming an obstruction.
Generally,capsule robots are 1-3 cm in diameter, they can interact with environment andare able to collect information. As schematically represented in Fig. 1, the architectureof a capsule robot can be described by the following modular modules: (1) acentral processing unit where intelligence is implemented; (2) a communicationsubmodule that links the device with the user intent; (3) a source of energythat powers electrically the system; (4) sensors; (5) actuators; (6) mechanicaltransmission and (7) end-effector, which interact with the surroundingenvironment to accomplish one or more specific tasks and interact with thetarget site, according to the specific functions the device is required tofulfill.