Using an endoscope is challenging.
Not the procedure itself, which is relatively easy. But the fact that, even with an LED at its tip, it is very easy to "lose" an endoscope once it is inside the body because everything inside looks the same in the camera, unless you know exactly where you are going.
That's the reason why endoscopy always needs additional scans and xrays to detect the position of the endoscope from time to time.
But not anymore!
A team of scientists in the University of Edinburg, headed by Kev Dhaliwal, Professor of Molecular Imaging & Healthcare Technology, has now come up with a novel device that can detect light photons and illuminate the exact location of an endoscope by seeing through the body!
The Light Detecting Device
Made of a silicon chip with thousands of photon detectors, the little device works on the principle that the LED at the tip of regular endoscopes is powerful enough to transmit light photons through the tissues into the unseen dark areas beyond.
And if captured, these light photons can produce a digital image of the body from the inside that can aid in evaluation.
"It has immense potential for diverse applications, such as the one described in this work. The ability to see a device's location is crucial for many applications in healthcare, as we move forwards with minimally invasive approaches to treating disease," said Dhaliwal.
The invention of this device is part of Proteus, a larger project involved in producing medical and healthcare devices. And is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in UK.