Combining novel soft and continuum robotic approaches to deliver a cost-effective gastroscope for cancer screening.
Stomach cancer is the 5th most common cancer globally, with an incidence rate accounting for approximately 7% of new cancer cases each year. Disease prevalence is highly dependent on geographic location, with over 50% of cases occurring in East Asia. To screen for stomach cancer, a visual inspection of the stomach cavity is performed by passing a flexible endoscope into the stomach via the mouth or nose. With the implementation of adequate screening programs, a significant reduction in mortality rates has been demonstrated through early detection of disease. However, screening programmes in many low-to-middle income countries are non-existent or ineffective due to economic and logistical limitations in providing the sedation, monitoring and reprocessing equipment associated with traditional endoscopy.
Through a radical re-thinking of the way traditional endoscopes work, are manufactured and operated, we have developed the BellowScope – a solution that is a fraction of the cost of traditional devices, single-use, more intuitive to operate, and has the potential to reduce patient discomfort. Our innovative combination of a multi-backbone ‘snake-like’ handle and soft pneumatically driven camera tip presents a step change in endoscope design, and may enable screening programs be implemented at lower cost and in locations previously unserved.
N Garbin, AP Mamunes, D Sohn, RW Hawkins, P Valdastri, KL Obstein, “Evaluation of a novel low-cost disposable endoscope for visual assessment of the esophagus and stomach in an ex-vivo phantom model”, Endoscopy international open, vol. 7 no. 09, E1175-E1183, 2019.
N Garbin, L Wang, JH Chandler, KL Obstein, N Simaan, P Valdastri, “Dual-continuum design approach for intuitive and low-cost upper gastrointestinal endoscopy” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 66 no. 07, 1963-1974, 2018.
N Garbin, L Wang, JH Chandler, KL Obstein, N Simaan, P Valdastri, “A disposable continuum endoscope using piston-driven parallel bellow actuator”, 2018 International Symposium on Medical Robotics (ISMR), 1-6, 2018.
N. Garbin, S. Sarker, D. C. Sohn, P. R. Slawinski, P. Valdastri, and K. L. Obstein, “Evaluation of a novel disposable upper endoscope for unsedated bedside (non-endoscopy unit based) assessment of the upper gastrointestinal (ugi) tract,” Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, vol. 85, no. 5, Supplement, p. AB304, 2017.