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.
J. Chandler, M. Chauhan, N. Garbin, K. Obstein and P. Valdastri, “Parallel Helix Actuators for Soft Robotic Applications”, Frontiers In Robotics And AI 7 (2020).
JH Chandler, M Chauhan, S Caló, N Aruparayil, N Garbin, F Campisano, KL Obstein, P Valdastri. “Tu1964 Usability of a Novel Disposable Endoscope for Gastric Cancer Screening in Low-Resource Settings: Results from Rural India“. Gastroenterology vol. 158 no. 6, S-1235, 2020
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.