Researchers Develop Swallowable Endoscope Capsule Guided, Propelled by MRI

Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed an endoscope capsule that is powered and propelled by a 3T MRI machine, according to news release.

Swallowable endoscopes capsules are used to investigate the GI tract but are uncontrolled so operators cannot direct what the camera is viewing. This new capsule has a tail made of copper and a flexible polymer that provides propulsion and control over the camera's path. The magnetic field from the MRI creates vibrations in the tail which allows it to move. Embedded electronics and microsensors allow operators to manipulate the magnetic field to guide the capsule's movement.

The device has been tested in water, and the researchers believe the tail supplies enough force to propel the capsule through the GI tract, though further testing is needed.

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