Improved Endoscope

Current endoscopes fall into the categories of rigid optical endoscopes, flexible video endoscopes and flexible optical endoscopes. Rigid endoscopes are typically used in orthopaedic surgery or surgery in the large body cavities, and for imaging in rodent brains. They are not usually suitable for the study of internal organs because they are not flexible enough to be passed through internal pathways, small body cavities or vessels in live subjects, and they are typically of limited length. For intensity imaging, video endoscopes are most commonly used. However, to attain higher resolution and optical sectioning, it is necessary to use a flexible optical endoscope.

Researchers have invented a novel microconfocal endoscope which achieves the (fully sampled image) performance of the distal scanner approach, but without the need for a distal scanner. The invention relies on spatially coherent illumination and incorporates an imaging fibre bundle with a spatial light phase modulator at the proximal end. By adjusting the relative phase of the incident light entering each of the plurality of imaging optical fibres, the spatial light phase modulator enables optical wavefronts emerging from the distal end of the fibre bundle to be synthesised, controlled and scanned. Since the phase imparted to the light emerging from each of the fibres in the fibre bundle can be adjusted using the spatial light phase modulator to scan the beam, a distal scanner is not required, thereby enabling the number of components at the distal end of the endoscope to be reduced, and thus thinner endoscopes to be achieved. Furthermore, since focused emerging beams may be synthesised, the objective lens at the distal end of the endoscope may be dispensed with. In addition, the scanning and focusing abilities made possible by the spatial light phase modulator enable fewer fibres to be used in the fibre bundle. This allows the diameter of the fibre bundle to be reduced, increasing the flexibility of the fibre.

Patent Status
A patent has been filed and the owner is currently seeking licensing partners.

Case 4612

Type of Offer: Licensing

« More Medical Devices Patents

Share on      

CrowdSell Your Patent