Technical Briefs

Development of an Automatic Adjustable Colonoscope

[+] Author and Article Information
Jonathan D. Litten

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Ohio University, 259 Stocker Center, Athens, OH 45701

JungHun Choi1

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Program,  Ohio University, 254 Stocker Center, Athens, OH 45701choij1@ohio.edu

David Drozek

College of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Specialty Medicine,  Ohio University, 106 Parks Hall, Athens, OH 45701


Corresponding author.

J. Med. Devices 5(4), 044502 (Nov 14, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005379 History: Received August 03, 2011; Revised October 20, 2011; Published November 14, 2011; Online November 14, 2011

Colonoscopy can be associated with many problems, such as mechanical trauma due to the distal tip contacting the colon wall or health issues due to the extended use of anesthesia. In order to eliminate these complications, an automatic adjustable colonoscope was designed. This device uses sensors, actuators, and a control system to automatically position the distal tip in the center of the colon lumen. The sensors were tested to determine their ability to accurately sense the distance from the tip to the surface. The actuators were tested to determine the correlation between motor rotation and displacement of the distal tip. The control system was tested to assess the ability of the device to position the tip in the center of the test tube and the ability to navigate through a flat test course. It was determined that the sensors could accurately determine distances from 0 to 15 mm from the test surface in all test conditions. The motors for up-down movement and left-right movement of the colonoscope had response times of 0.57 s and 0.69 s, respectively, when the motors were rotated from 0 deg to 90 deg. The control system was able to safely move the colonoscope tip away from all walls of the test apparatus. It was also able to navigate through the flat test course without coming in contact with the walls. The automatic adjustable colonoscope has demonstrated that it can safely and effectively position the distal tip to avoid contact with the walls of the test surface.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Simplified cross-section of the colon to determine control logic

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Figure 2

Sensory system of the automatic adjustable colonoscope. (a) The first prototype is at the left side and(b) the second prototype is at the right side.

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Figure 3

Actuator mounted to base of colonoscope

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Figure 4

Colonoscopy training model

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Figure 5

Snapshots inside colonoscopy training model

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Figure 6

Ex vivo porcine intestine test

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Figure 7

Snapshots inside of ex vivo porcine intestine



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