Swallowable wireless capsule endoscopy: progress and technical challenges

Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2012;2012:841691. doi: 10.1155/2012/841691. Epub 2011 Dec 27.


Wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE) offers a feasible noninvasive way to detect the whole gastrointestinal (GI) tract and revolutionizes the diagnosis technology. However, compared with wired endoscopies, the limited working time, the low frame rate, and the low image resolution limit the wider application. The progress of this new technology is reviewed in this paper, and the evolution tendencies are analyzed to be high image resolution, high frame rate, and long working time. Unfortunately, the power supply of capsule endoscope (CE) is the bottleneck. Wireless power transmission (WPT) is the promising solution to this problem, but is also the technical challenge. Active CE is another tendency and will be the next geneion of the WCE. Nevertheless, it will not come true shortly, unless the practical locomotion mechanism of the active CE in GI tract is achieved. The locomotion mechanism is the other technical challenge, besides the challenge of WPT. The progress about the WPT and the active capsule technology is reviewed.