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Technical Brief

Wireless Robotic Capsule for Releasing Bioadhesive Patches in the Gastrointestinal Tract

[+] Author and Article Information
Selene Tognarelli, Arianna Menciassi

The BioRobotics Institute,
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna,
Pisa, Italy

Edoardo Sinibaldi

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia,
Center for Micro-BioRobotics@SSSA,
Pontedera, Italy
e-mail: edoardo.sinibaldi@iit.it

Manuscript received December 31, 2012; final manuscript received September 10, 2013; published online December 6, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Venketesh N. Dubey.

J. Med. Devices 8(1), 014503 (Dec 06, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: MED-12-1163; doi: 10.1115/1.4025450 History: Received December 31, 2012; Revised September 10, 2013

A novel, miniature wireless robotic capsule for releasing bioadhesive patches in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract was designed, fabricated, and preliminarily tested. In particular, the assembled prototype was successfully navigated in a GI phantom, up to a target site where the release mechanism was verified. Then, deployment of a bioadhesive patch onto ex vivo porcine tissue was accomplished, and patch adhesion strength was verified. The main application of the present system is the deployment of anchoring patches for miniature robotic modules to be operated in the targeted anatomical domain. Such an innovative application stems from the wise blend of robotics and bioadhesion. Obtained results, which are consistent with previous investigations by the group, confirm the viability of the adopted bioadhesives for the envisaged anchoring tasks. The present feasibility study complies with the spirit of minimally invasive, wireless diagnosis, and therapy, and provides a preliminary contribution for their advancement.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Schematic view of the capsule “closed” configuration adopted during locomotion: ejectable shells (ES) are aligned with capsule surface. (b) Schematic view at patch release: ES are ejected and patch supporting plate (PSP) is displaced for patch deployment.

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Fig. 2

PSP release: (a) starting from a preloaded configuration and (b) PSP is released by remotely activated triggering

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Fig. 3

Assembly of the patch release mechanism. On-board battery (B) is also sketched.

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Fig. 4

(a) Triggering mechanism for PSP release. (b) Detail of PSP locking in the preloaded configuration.

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Fig. 5

Ejection mechanism of the ES. The external grooves (EG), for tissue scraping through capsule roll, are also labeled.

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Fig. 6

(a) Nonlinear springs and (b) shaped in the Nitinol sheet. (c) Mediating spring, leaned on a dedicated fixturing tool.

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Fig. 7

Robotic capsule prototype (closed configuration)

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Fig. 8

Robotic capsule prototype: (a) subassembly of the plate release mechanism, with a partly mounted PSP (for ease of visualization); and (b) with the PSP in the preloaded configuration

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Fig. 10

Robotic arm moving the permanent magnet (EPM) used for capsule navigation and tissue scraping

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Fig. 11

Bioadhesive patch loaded on the robotic capsule PSP

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Fig. 9

Main on-board electronic components

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Fig. 12

PSP release test in GI phantom: robotic capsule, navigated to the target area, (a) prior to and (b) after PSP release

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Fig. 13

Bioadhesive patch release test onto ex vivo porcine GI tissue. After patch deployment, capsule was slightly displaced and PSP was removed, for ease of visualization.

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