During colonoscopy procedures an endoscopic device is inserted into the patient and pushed through the colon with consequential discomfort to the patient. Self-propelling devices that are able of moving through a lumen without the need of external push could be beneficial for these applications. Research in this topic is ongoing, but no successful solutions have yet been discovered.
At TU Delft a former master student (Perry Posthoorn) developed a self-propelled device inspired by the mechanism of the ovipositor of the wasp. The ovipositor is a needle-like structure which consists of three elements that can slide along each other. By means of a reciprocal movement of the elements the wasp is able to insert the ovipositor through a substrate. The reciprocal sliding mechanism of multiple elements has inspired the design of our ovipositor-device.
Preliminary tests have shown that the device is able to move through an ex-vivo porcine colon, although at extremely slow speed due to a sub-optimal internal construction of the device.
The aim of this graduation project is to develop a strongly improved endoluminal device aiming at maximizing propulsion speed at minimal internal complexity with the final aim to make a revolutionary new system suited for disposable use.
For more information contact Marta Scali (firstname.lastname@example.org).