Innovation

Endoscopy Alternative Uses ‘Virtual Lens’ To Examine Internal Conditions In A Noninvasive Way

Endoscopy is used in medical imaging to check conditions that may affect the lungs, colon, throat and the gastrointestinal tract. This procedure uses a tube carrying a light and a camera that is then inserted through the mouth or into small opening to examine the body. 

However, endoscopy is invasive and may have side effects. There were reports of persistent pain, internal bleeding, oversedation and cramps linked to the procedure. 

But doctors may soon limit or even end the use of endoscopy. Researchers developed a new method that can also provide medical imaging but in a noninvasive approach. 

The new imaging technique uses ultrasound to examine the body internally. It involves a handheld device or a skin patch placed on the surface of the skin to obtain images of internal organs.

The approach eliminates the side effects of endoscopy, particularly organ or tissue damage. Researchers said their technique can be used to diagnose conditions affecting the brain, skin and other organs where tumors may grow, Medical News Today reported Thursday.

"We used ultrasound waves to sculpt a virtual optical relay lens within a given target medium, which, for example, can be biological tissue," Maysam Chamanzar, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said. "Therefore, the tissue is turned into a lens that helps us capture and relay the images of deeper structures."

How The Endoscopy Replacement Works 

The new imaging technique, described in the journal Light: Science and Applications, eliminates the physical lens inserted into the body by using ultrasound like a "virtual lens." 

The lens relies on ultrasonic pressure waves to navigate organs. Researchers said the technique enabled them to take depth images of regions that endoscopy was unable to access.

"Being able to relay images from organs, such as the brain, without the need to insert physical optical components will provide an important alternative to implanting invasive endoscopes in the body," Chamanzar said. "This method can revolutionize the field of biomedical imaging," he added.

The team hopes their ultrasound imaging technique would help the medical community improve procedures to examine the body and make diagnosis.

ultrasound A new imaging technique uses ultrasound to replace endoscopy in providing medical imaging to diagnose conditions. Pixabay

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