Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Endoscopes Push Imaging Boundaries

Dating Back Centuries, Endoscopy Takes Advantage of Today's Cutting Edge Technologies
Researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering are using 3D ultrasound transducers to image beating dog hearts (Copyright Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering).
Massachusetts General Hospital's spectrally-encoded endoscopy (SEE) technology is only the about the width of a human hair and promises to open new horizons in endoscopy (Copyright Massachusetts General Hospital's Wellman Center for Photomedicine).
Tiny form-fit factor and low-power dissipation are at the core of Micron's CMOS endoscope-sensor technology (Copyright Micron Technology, Inc.).
Scientists at Penn State, Lockheed-Martin Corporation and Stanford University have jointly devised a solution for detailed three-dimensional CT-based procedure mapping and follow-on image-guided bronchoscopy that draws upon computer graphics and machine vision techniques (Copyright Penn State University)

By Lee J. Nelson
Contributing Editor

Single-Use Scopes

Reusable endoscopes are subject to damage during usage and may have to be removed from service for repair. They also exact routine disinfection, decontamination and sterilization following each operation. Optiscope Technologies, Ltd. (Katzrin, Israel) is developing disposable rigid endoscopes, underpinned by a patented method of bringing light to the optical viewport without expensive glass lenses or fragile fiber-optics. Single-use endoscopes present clear and significant advantages over instruments currently-in-use. And, Optiscope expects to manufacture a disposable endoscope at price which will make it affordable to hospitals and clinics, worldwide.

Feasibility Demonstration

In 2003, Olympus Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) and Olympus Surgical & Industrial America Inc. (Orangeburg, N.Y.) conducted a feasibility demonstration featuring an endoscope with three- and two-dimensional observation capability for the da Vinci Surgical System manufactured by Intuitive Surgical Inc., (Sunnyvale, Calif. and Saint-Germain en Laye, France). The innovative technology permitted surgeons to view high-resolution, three-dimensional as well as wide-angle, panoramic two-dimensional images on the da Vinci display console. Access to both modes in a single, consolidated video system, furthered efficient, precise and minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Three separate optical elements were contained within a 12-millimeter diameter endoscope: one for the left eye and one for the right eye-tendering true three-dimensional visualization-plus a third for wide field-of-view, two-dimensional imaging. Left- and right-eye optics each supplied endoscopic images to a separate video camera. Those images were projected onto left and right monitors where the surgeon obtained a 3D perspective by watching both, simultaneously. For two-dimensional viewing, the wide-angle lens sent imagery to a third camera which was connected to both monitors. The operator, as well as an assistant, could switch between three- and two-dimensional scenes by tapping a foot pedal. Typically, high-resolution, three-dimensional viewing is employed when precision and increased depth-of-vision are needed, as during delicate dissection and suturing. Two-dimension imaging is most effective for accommodating a synoptic view and seeing the surgical instruments' relative positions. Without the dual-mode approach, a surgeon must pull the endoscope backwards in order to observe the entire site. Olympus' demonstration unit enhanced surgical efficiency by providing immediate access to two- or three-dimensional images without having to reposition.

Image-Guided Endoscopy

The standard procedure to diagnose lung cancer involves a three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) scan followed by interventional endoscopy. Generally no link exists between the CT imagery and any subsequent bronchoscopy: biopsy of suspect cancer sites essentially is performed blindly.

Scientists at Penn State University's Department of Electrical Engineering (University Park, Penn.), Lockheed-Martin Corporation (King of Prussia, Penn.), Stanford University's Department of Radiology (Stanford, Calif.) and Siemens Corporate Research (Princeton, N.J.) jointly devised a solution to augment physicians' vision during bronchoscopy.

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