Novel Suction Endoscope for Traversing the Small Intestine

Technology #13089

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Researchers
Mihir S. Wagh
Roberto Montane Jr.
Carl D. Crane
Managed By
Anita Rao
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending 2012-0022329

Invention

The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing a suction endoscope to traverse the small intestine. According to the National Cancer Institute, thousands of people suffer from small intestine disorders and many of those cases result in death. The key to reducing these statistics is early detection. Gastrointestinal bleeding is another common life-threatening ailment that may arise for the small intestine. The upper gastrointestinal tract and the colon are readily accessible by endoscope; however, the small intestine is difficult to evaluate even with newer enteroscopes. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a device to navigate the bowel, allowing diagnosis and therapy in difficult to reach areas of the small intestine.

Applications

This device may be used as an attachment to current endoscopes or as a novel endoscope that will allow traversing the small intestine using suction.

Advantages

  • Offers the potential to provide access to difficult- to-reach regions of the intestinal tract allowing for a unique competitive advantage
  • Provides earlier detection of potentially fatal conditions, improving patient life expectancy
  • Utilizes suction along the intestinal tract without causing intestinal trauma
  • Requires little/no extra effort by the endoscopist

Technology

The endoscope has been providing a look inside the human body for more than forty years, and great medical advancements have occurred because of them, such as detecting tumors and ulcers. This modality also allows endoscopic therapy, e.g. therapy of cancer and bleeding. Researchers at the University of Florida have invented a device that will grant access into the deep small bowel. This attachment accompanies an endoscope into the gastrointestinal tract, and then uses suction to navigate its way into the small intestine. With this innovation, doctors will get a front row view of the inner workings of the small intestine. The device incorporates two suction tips: one moveable and one stationary. These allow for the endoscope to advance its way through the twenty feet of the small intestines. This discovery also generates the feasibility of using suction for locomotion through the small intestine that may ultimately turn this attachment into a completely new, independent, and self-advancing robotic endoscope.