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This camera pill is not larger than a candy. It can be swallowed by the patient. The doctor steers it through esophagus and stomach ….
So, you swallow this “pill” and miniaturized scientists riding inside get to travel around inside your body like in that movie, doing battle with your immune system while searching for a deadly clot, and running dangerously low on fuel.

Well, not exactly. This IS a camera that you swallow. That is not so unusual. Doctors have had patients swallow cameras for some time now, to give them a look at the inside of your alimentary tract. This camera is different because the doctors do get to drive it , though not by using miniaturized pilots.

This camera is controlled by a magnet from the outside of the patients body. In this case, the engineers have come up with …

… the first-ever control system for the camera pill. “In future, doctors will be able to stop the camera in the esophagus, move it up and down and turn it, and thus adjust the angle of the camera as required,” says IBMT team leader Dr. Frank Volke. “This allows them to make a precise examination of the junction between the esophagus and the stomach, for if the cardiac sphincter is not functioning properly, gastric acid comes up the esophagus and causes heartburn. In the long term, this may even cause cancer of the esophagus. Now, with the camera, we can even scan the stomach walls.” But how do the researchers manage to steer the disposable camera inside the body? “We have developed a magnetic device roughly the size of a bar of chocolate. The doctor can hold it in his hand during the examination and move it up and down the patient’s body. The camera inside follows this motion precisely,” says Volke.

One of the trickiest parts for internal camerawork has always been the esophagus, because the swallowed cameras just sail past that part of the AI, to languish in the stomach and pass slowly through the intestinal tract.

Why does this idea of using a magnet to move around a camera inside of a person’s body bring this image to mind????

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See the press release for more info.

Comments

  1. #1 Christopher Waldrop
    June 13, 2008

    I didn’t think of the magnetic troll immediately. What I thought of was Raquel Welch in a skintight body suit. If Fantastic Voyage is going to be possible, shouldn’t we have all the advantages?

  2. #2 Christopher Waldrop
    June 13, 2008

    I didn’t think of the magnetic troll immediately. What I thought of was Raquel Welch in a skintight body suit. If Fantastic Voyage is going to be possible, shouldn’t we have all the advantages?