HomeProjectsBiomedical Sciences and Healthcare TechnologiesElectromagnetically Actuated Soft-tethered (EAST) Colonoscope

Electromagnetically Actuated Soft-tethered (EAST) Colonoscope

Project Quick Facts

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. LI Zheng

    Department of Surgery

  • Prof. CHIU Wai Yan Philip

    Department of Surgery

  • Funding

    Research Grants Council, Innovation and Technology Commission

  • Collaboration

    Multi-scale Medical Robotics Center

  • Patent

    1 China patent application

  • Award

    Postgraduate Group Champion & Special Award, Professor Charles K. Kao Student Creativity Awards 2021

Colorectal cancer can be prevented and cured in case of early diagnosis. However, conventional flexible colonoscopes which are most commonly used for colon inspection and treatment still have two major limitations: (i) patient discomfort related to the colonoscopy procedure without sedation; (ii) high skill requirements for endoscopists. This project proposes and designs an electromagnetically actuated soft-tethered (EAST) colonoscope which is also equipped with regular diagnostic and therapeutic functions. It can achieve painless colonoscopy without sedation due to the active locomotion under external magnetic fields as well as the gentle interaction with the human colon. A system with autonomous navigation and polyp detection based on artificial intelligence is also developed to introduce easy and intelligent manipulation of the colonoscope, which thus reduces the skill requirement and workload of endoscopists, and helps enhance the social acceptance and availability of regular colon inspection.
Prototype of the soft-tethered endoscopic device
Prototype and components of the electromagnetic actuation system for proof-of-concept

Uniqueness and Competitive Advantages:

  • Equipped with regular diagnostic and therapeutic functions as the conventional flexible colonoscope
  • Painless colonoscopy without sedation
  • Low skill requirements and workload for endoscopists with easy manipulation and assisted functions of the colonoscope, such as autonomous navigation and poly detection
  • High autonomy, enabling rapid colonoscopy and enhancing the availability of the regular colon inspection

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