Development of an Endoscope Propulsion System to Aid in the Colonoscopy Procedure


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Virginia Tech


Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer, and is the number two cancer-related death in the United States. Receiving regular colonoscopies can reduce the average person's risk of dying from colon cancer by 90%. However, only 54% if adults over the age of 50 get regular colonoscopies. This low percentage can be attributed to the exam's poor availability, severe discomfort, high cost, and the risk of procedural complications. The Endoscope Propulsion System, or EPS, will assist in the colonoscopy procedure. This device will enable a lesser skilled physician to effectively perform the colonoscopy, thus increasing the procedure's availability. In addition to requiring less skill, the assistive nature of the EPS will also decrease the chance of complications due to colon perforation. The EPS will greatly reduce the discomfort cause by the colonoscope, which will eliminate the need for anesthesia and recovery, therefore greatly reducing the cost of the procedure. The Endoscope Propulsion System design described in this paper is an update to the device outlined in Dr. M. Jonathan Bern's patent application (20060270901). The criteria and requirements of the design are discussed along with the final design and analysis. Finally, a prototype was built to ensure the validity of the proposed invention.



endoscope propulsion system, assisted colonoscopy