Small camera/collection device that collects samples all along the surface of the esophagus, increasing disease detection rate.
This device is inserted into the esophagus. As it travels down, a balloon inflates. The balloon has brushes that collect cells from the surface of the esophagus. Once the balloon deflates, the sample is kept safely protected within the capsule. The capsule also has a camera attached to the front, which takes pictures of the esophagus as it travels down.
This capsule can be used to screen patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Barrett’s esophagus for cancer.
How it works:
A team of professors, engineers and students at the University of Kansas has designed a small (pill-sized) retractable capsule device containing a tiny balloon that can be inflated to project a set of integrated plastic strip brushes with medical grade nylon bristles. The balloon is attached to a catheter, which is attached to a hand pump with a valve. This feature allows the use of “pneumatic cytology,” – air expands the balloon and the brushes collect cells in close proximity to the capsule. The capsule also contains a micro-CMOS camera that is connected digitally to a computer to monitor and record live video. The micro-CMOS camera has features such as 90° field of view, 44 frames/second, LED lighting and 250x250 pixel resolution allowing for good visualization of the esophagus lining and identification of risk areas during cell collection.
The current protocol for biopsies of the esophagus only collects 5% of the esophageal mucosa. This procedure collects much more of the mucosa and increases chances of detecting cancer earlier and reduces sampling error.
Why it is better:
In addition to increasing detection rates, this procedure is less invasive because the device is smaller than the traditional endoscopy, and the procedure of taking pictures and sampling is combined into one device. This procedure should not require sedation and can be done by a nurse or health care worker at a regular patient visit.