Industry Focus: Endoscopy

Developed in 1806, Endoscopes were initial intended for investigation and confirmation (diagnosis), with a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Today, with more than 10m endoscopies performed annually, Endoscopes are useful in a wide range of medical situations, from observation/diagnosis, imaging, and minor surgical procedures.

As the use of Endoscopes continues to expand, the development of miniature actuation has led the use of motorization to provide clearer imaging, through focus and zoom functions as well as manipulators to perform specific tasks. Ultrasonic piezo motors play a key role in advancing the capabilities of this versatile medical device.

A miniature focus (or focus & zoom) module fits inside a 25mm cubic volume, providing >8mm travel and closed loop position resolution to 0.24µm.

As Endoscopes are sterilized and reused, there are current efforts to provide better image quality without changing the optical tube that is inserted into the body. This comes in the form of adding a motorized lens between the eye piece and the camera, freeing up the doctor’s hands to tend to a patient.

Utilizing Nanomotion’s family of miniature, low voltage piezo motors, small modules are designed to move a lens precisely along the optical axis. This module contains the entire closed loop axis, with motor, feedback, and servo control.

Nanomotion has developed more advanced motion solutions that are cable of driving a lens, contained in a 6mm diameter tube, yielding the ability to put motion at the tip of the endoscope.
Inside the capsulee was a focus focus module to drive a lens with a piezo motor, position sensor and drive/control chip.

In the mid-1990’s, Capsule Endoscopy was developed by putting a camera system in a capsule. The capsule travels through the digestive tract, taking thousands of pictures that transmitted to an external storage device worn on a belt. This has been extremely helpful in examining the small intestines for diagnosing Crohn’s disease.

Nanomotion leveraged its design of a cell phone focus module, reducing the size of the components, to fit into the capsule, which is about the size of a vitamin.

Today, Endoscopies (Minimally Invasive Surgery) are quite commonplace. They are quick, safe procedures with little discomfort to the patient. Through the integration of miniature motors, the functions that can be performed with an endoscope continue to expand. Nanomotion continues to work with key customers on the development of motorized modules that allow the medical community to make advances in health care.
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Utilizing proprietary technology, Nanomotion designs and manufactures complete motion solutions from start to finish.

Read more about Nanomotion.

Nanomotion’s team consists of engineering resources with more than 100 man years of precision motion control experience. The true measure of reliability is to evaluate our motor performance on a system designed and manufactured by Nanomotion.

For more information, please contact Nanomotion by email, call +1 (631) 585-3000,


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