Probing colons has never been this much fun. Japanese researchers have developed the world's first self-propelled endoscopy device, a remote controlled tadpole-like camera that can "swim" through the digestive tack gathering imagery along the way.
This kind of endoscopy isn't wholly new, of course, but previous iterations of ingestible cameras relied on natural muscle contractions to move them through the body. The "Mermaid," as it is known, simplifies the process by moving quickly through the digestive tract to its destination, whatever that point may be. To speed the process, it can be inserted into the digestive system at either end, entering the body orally or--well, you know.
The device is just 0.4 inches in diameter and just shy of two inches long, and uses magnetic machinery to control its movement and location. Doctors pilot the endoscope with a joystick, watching its progress on a monitor. All said, it takes only a few hours to traverse the whole system from esophagus to colon. It could help ease the strain on patients and detect hard-to-see cancers earlier than was previously possible.
I rather dread the idea of this thing wiggling out of either end of my digestive track.
Yeah I know it really couldn't but still that is the first thing that came to mind.
Now we have worms of another kind in our tracts ugh. I sure hope this thing can't reproduce!
Wonder what it feels like...swimming up OR down X(
Well,as someone who's had an endoscopic exam,this would be infinitely preferable,ESPECIALLY if it didn't require the laxatives that go nuclear with your gut.
Newbeak5: I bet this will still require the same laxatives as the regular endoscopic exam - otherwise it won't be so much "swimming" as "crawling"...
Maybe with a much bigger battery and a miniature windshield wiper? :-D
Patridkd: Okay,I googled it("Mayo Capsule endoscopy preparation"),and yes,you may still have to use laxatives.A camera is still better because you don't have to have a "garden hose" stuck up your rear end,and be put under with a short acting anaesthetic.
I'll wait for the video game.
I think I will skip this and wait for the nanotechnology that cleans and scrubs as well as record and analyze.
Just reminded me of the new food to end world hunger some Japanese scientists came up with. Ya it is related... gross
@convictus: You mean "Waiter! Theres a microcamera in my burger" I will pass on that burger too, especially since someone else passed it first
• Warning •
On a Gastroenterologist's advice, I swallowed the camera capsule... you know, the one you see Ed Burns swallow in the stock market tv commercial... It perforated my intestine and I was forced to go to the UCLA Santa Monica Emergency Room where I was immediately operated on... the 1st of 14 surgeries in a 3 month period during which time I was kept in a medically induced coma.
I lost 20 feet of intestine and my gall bladder. My kidneys were attacked by the intense sepsis and no longer work well. I had a tracheotomy, was intubated and lost 60 pounds. My bones lost density. I developed hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis. My required medications cause many unpleasant side effects.
The only difference I can see between this directed camera capsule and the one I swallowed is the external joystick...
Good luck to all who try it.