Advanced shape tracking to improve flexible endoscopic diagnostics

Caroline G.L. Cao, Peter Y. Wong, Lothar Lilge, Robb M. Gavalis, Hua Xing, Nate Zamarripa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Colonoscopy is the gold standard for screening for inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Flexible endoscopes are difficult to manipulate, especially in the distensible and tortuous colon, sometimes leading to disorientation during the procedure and missed diagnosis of lesions. Our goal is to design a navigational aid to guide colonoscopies, presenting a three dimensional representation of the endoscope in real-time. Therefore, a flexible sensor that can track the position and shape of the entire length of the endoscope is needed. We describe a novel shape-tracking technology utilizing a single modified optical fiber. By embedding fluorophores in the buffer of the fiber, we demonstrated a relationship between fluorescence intensity and fiber curvature. As much as a 40% increase in fluorescence intensity was achieved when the fiber's local bend radius decreased from 58 mm to 11 mm. This approach allows for the construction of a three-dimensional shape tracker that is small enough to be easily inserted into the biopsy channel of current endoscopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2008
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2008 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 10 2008Mar 13 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Colonoscopy
  • Fluorophores
  • Navigation
  • Optical fiber
  • Shape-tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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