Wireless capsule endoscope for targeted drug delivery: mechanics and design considerations

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2013 Apr;60(4):945-53. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2012.2228647. Epub 2012 Nov 21.


This paper describes a platform to achieve targeted drug delivery in the next-generation wireless capsule endoscopy. The platform consists of two highly novel subsystems: one is a micropositioning mechanism which can deliver 1 ml of targeted medication and the other is a holding mechanism, which gives the functionality of resisting peristalsis. The micropositioning mechanism allows a needle to be positioned within a 22.5 ° segment of a cylindrical capsule and be extendible by up to 1.5 mm outside the capsule body. The mechanism achieves both these functions using only a single micromotor and occupying a total volume of just 200 mm (3). The holding mechanism can be deployed diametrically opposite the needle in 1.8 s and occupies a volume of just 270 mm (3). An in-depth analysis of the mechanics is presented and an overview of the requirements necessary to realize a total system integration is discussed. It is envisaged that the targeted drug delivery platform will empower a new breed of capsule microrobots for therapy in addition to diagnostics for pathologies such as ulcerative colitis and small intestinal Crohn's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Capsule Endoscopy / instrumentation*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Peristalsis / physiology
  • Pressure
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Torque