Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improved electronic pill will help fight gastrointestinal disease

EU researchers worked to improve the design of an endoscopic capsule by including better imaging technology and a function to treatment gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.
Improved electronic pill will help fight gastrointestinal disease
Passive endoscopic capsules have revolutionised diagnosis and treatment of bowel diseases and conditions. These 'electronic pills' use visible light and a tiny camera to diagnose bowel problems quickly and cheaply.

The EU-funded SMART PILL (New optical functions for endoscopic capsules) initiative aimed to build on the success of early endoscopic capsules by including better imaging technology and a way to treat GI cancers.

The first improvement researchers made was to introduce a narrow band imaging (NBI) module to better illuminate mucosal structures like blood vessels or tumours. They achieved this by using light-emitting diodes in combination with thin-film optical filters to emit light in the specific wavelengths required for NBI.

Secondly, SMART PILL designed, created and tested a tiny microscopic imaging module made up of four microlenses. This system could provide up to 14 times magnification and is only 12 mm long.

Lastly, researchers created a module that produces light for photodynamic therapy. This technique uses light to destroy tumour cells sensitised with a specific drug, in this case the commercially available Foscan.

Considering the recent success of the endoscopic capsule sector, these new developments promise to have a major impact on GI health and diagnosis across the world.

Related information


Electronic pill, gastrointestinal, endoscopic capsule, imaging technology, cancers, SMART PILL
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