Fluorescence Capsule Endoscopy Workshop

The Colorectal Therapies Healthcare Technology Cooperative hosted a Fluorescence Capsule Endoscopy Workshop at the end of November 2017, held in Leeds. Sonopill team members were in attendance.

Clinicians, engineers, and entrepreneurs came together to discuss the use of fluorescence capsules in endoscopy, this included the challenges of detecting autofluorescence, using fluorescent markers to attach to tumours, using flourescence detecting capsules in clinical practice, and the routes that could be taken to commercially realise the technology.

Engagement during the workshop was high with active discussions during workshop sessions. Gastroenterologists have agreed that there is pathology in the small bowel - revealed by capsule endoscopy -  therefore there is a need for emerging technologies to be utilised in that part of the body. Emerging capsules such as fluorescence imaging, narrowband, ultrasound, pH detection, and motility capsules are promising complements to the already existing and widely adopted white light imaging capsules. Although clinicians do like to debate which technique is most useful, there is plenty of evidence that fluorescence is a valuable technique - not just for cancer detection, but for other applications such as inflammatory bowel diseases.

Alongside the fluorescence capsule that has been developed at the University of Glasgow, researchers from biochemistry are developing new binding fluorophores that can be synthesized for a specific pathology target. Combining both technologies (fluorescence capsule and binding fluorophores) will be the best demonstration for the technology to attract investors. Adopting a health economic model for a similar technology will be useful to assess how the technology can reach the market, and identify its potential beneficiaries.

First published: 19 January 2018

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