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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter November 26, 2020

Novel flexible endoscope concept with swiveling camera tip

Axel Boese EMAIL logo , Christoph Arens and Michael Friebe

Abstract

Endoscopy is an important modality in medical imaging. Thin flexible endoscopes are for example used to examine the upper airways, for gastroscopy procedures or lung inspection. With standard flexible endoscopes one can change the direction of view by bending the tip with the disadvantage of large space required due to the bending radius. With first experiences of a concept of a moveable camera head on the tip of rigid endoscopes, we now propose a novel design employing a swiveling camera for flexible endoscopes. This concept is based on the use of a shape memory wire used to control the movement of the camera, a flexible plastic flap joint for tight rotation and flexible printed circuits for the electronic connection. The prototype was realized in a first low cost setup using a 5,5 mm HD chip on the tip camera with LED light. The motion and imaging performance of the prototype allowed swiveling of the camera on the endoscope tip from straight view to 100° side view. The space needed in fully rotation was limited to 9mm with an overall diameter of the endoscope in straight view of only 5,6mm, but could even be further reduced in a more professional setup. The image quality is good, but close-up views appear blurry due to the fixed focus point of the low-cost camera. The presented steering concept of the camera is promising, as it could potentially improve imaging of narrow cavities using flexible endoscopes. Especially for “in office” examinations this principle could add value to diagnosis and patient comfort.

Published Online: 2020-11-26
Published in Print: 2020-09-01

© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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