Dual-Imaging In-Line Confocal Endoscope

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The endoscope has revolutionized the field of gastroenterology by allowing the physician to directly examine almost any part of the intestinal tract. Biopsies can be obtained, polyps removed, and clear images acquired. Endoscopes are employed as a routine clinical macroscopic examination tool for many diseases and gastrointestinal problems. Confocal microscopy is the most common method for producing high quality, optically sectioned microscopic images. However, there remains an unfilled need for an improved endoscopic system with the capability of conventional wide-field imaging and confocal microscopy simultaneously in a flexible endoscopic probe. This style of endoscope could make possible histological analysis of tissues with reduced need for biopsy in many cases, decreasing pain, time requirement, and cost to the patient.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed an improved endoscope and accompanying software that offer the ability to image tissues in vivo on both a gross and cellular level. The user can then effectively select one area of interest in a macroscopic view and zoom in to view the cellular information from the same area. This may make possible an immediate histological identification without the need to surgically extract biopsy samples. It will also allow physicians to examine suspected tissues in a much more methodical and thorough method than is allowed with traditional biopsy.

Advantages:
-Ability to perform gross and cellular imaging simultaneously
-Provides a fiducial link between both levels
-Allows ability to zoom in on any desired gross feature
-Ability to view fluorescently labeled cells

Potential Applications:
-Medical/Health
-Diagnostics
Aug 1, 2012
DIV-Patent
United States
8,777,846
Jul 15, 2014

Mar 27, 2008
Utility Patent
United States
8,251,896
Aug 28, 2012

Sep 29, 2006
PCT-Patent
WO
(None)
(None)

Sep 30, 2005
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)
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