Versatile Endoscopic Capsule for gastrointestinal TumOr Recognition and therapy
  Funded by the European Commission, Sixth Framework Programme, Information Society Technologies Priority

  WP4 Locomotion & Space Creation

This workpackage aims at studying, model, and develop an active locomotion system for the smart capsule. Active locomotion is one of the most important key features of the capsule, because it allows performing controlled diagnosis and therapy in selected areas of the gut. Active systems for space creation are also essential to distend the tissues for proper diagnosis and visualization, and to create a real lumen which, otherwise, is just virtual.
Commercially available digestive capsules rely on peristaltic locomotion [e.g. Given Imaging] or on external system of orientation [e.g. Norika, Olympus], which do not possess adequate flexibility for locomotion in tortuous environment. Moreover, no available systems include active space creation mechanism, thus limiting the effectiveness in selected areas of the gut (e.g. the small intestine).
Based on the above considerations, an active locomotion system allowing the capsule to move independently from peristalsis and a mechanism for space creation stem mainly from a medical need are under investigation. The most promising solution, especially for the colon district, seems to be the "legged" locomotion. As regards space creation, balloons or enlarging structures are under investigation.

Capsule with legged locomotion
and space creation ballon

Capsule with legged locomotion
and space creation structures

WP Leader
SSSA Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna, Italy

novineon Healthcare Technology Partners GmbH, Germany
Sensitec GmbH, Germany
KU Leuven, Belgium
CTMN Centre de transfert en micro & nanotechnologies, France
Endosmart GmbH, Germany
ERA Endoscopy Srl, Italy
University of Barcelona, Spain
FORTH Foundation for research and technologies Hellas, Greece
Innovent Technology e.V., Germany
IMC Intelligent Microsystem Center, South Korea