Wireless capsule endoscope for targeted drug delivery

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Title: Wireless capsule endoscope for targeted drug delivery
Authors: Woods, Stephen
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: The diagnosis and treatment of pathologies of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are performed routinely by gastroenterologists using endoscopes and colonoscopes, however the small intestinal tract is beyond the reach of these conventional systems. Attempts have been made to access the small intestines with wireless capsule endoscopes (WCE). These pill-sized cameras take pictures of the intestinal wall and then relay them back for evaluation. This practice enables the detection and diagnosis of pathologies of the GI tract such as Crohn's disease, small intestinal tumours such as lymphoma and small intestinal cancer. The problems with these systems are that they have limited diagnostic capabilities and they do not offer the ability to perform therapy to the affected areas leaving only the options of administering large quantities of drugs or surgical intervention. To address the issue of administering therapy in the small intestinal tract this thesis presents an active swallowable microrobotic platform which has novel functionality enabling the microrobot to treat pathologies through a targeted drug delivery system. This thesis first reviews the state-of-the-art in WCE through the evaluation of current and past literature. A review of current practises such as flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy and wireless capsule endoscopy are presented. The following sections review the state-of-the-art in methods of resisting peristalsis, drug targeting systems and drug delivery. A review of actuators is presented, in the context of WCE, with a view to evaluate their acceptability in adding functionality to current WCEs. The thesis presents a novel biologically-inspired holding mechanism which overcomes the issue of resisting natural peristalsis in the GI tract. An analysis of the two components of peristaltic force, circumferential and longitudinal peristaltic contractions, are presented to ensure correct functionality of the holding mechanism. A detailed analysis of the motorised method employed to deploy the expanding mechanism is described and a 5:1 scale prototype is presented which characterises the gearbox and validates the holding mechanism. The functionality of WCE is further extended by the inclusion of a novel targeting mechanism capable of delivering a metered dose of medication to a target site of interest in the GI tract. A solution to the problem of positioning a needle within a 360 degree envelope, operating the needle and safely retracting the needle in the GI tract is discussed. A comprehensive analysis of the mechanism to manoeuvre the needle is presented and validation of the mechanism is demonstrated through the evaluation of scale prototypes. Finally a drug delivery system is presented which can expel a 1 ml dose of medication, stored onboard the capsule, into the subcutaneous tissue of the GI tract wall. An analysis of the force required to expel the medication in a set period of time is presented and the design and analysis of a variable pitch conical compression spring which will be used to deliver the medication is discussed. A thermo mechanical trigger mechanism is presented which will be employed to release the compressed conical spring. Experimental results using 1:1 scale prototype parts validate the performance of the mechanisms.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Mar-2016
Date Awarded: Aug-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/39241
Supervisor: Constandinou, Timothy
Toumazou, Christofer
Department: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering PhD theses

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