Within the scope of the joint research project 'nuEndo', Sensodrive is working with partners from the industry, research and hospital sectors on new endoscopic technology for diagnostic gastroscopy.
This initiative has been granted substantial sponsorship by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Different symptoms make gastroscopy a must, including pain in the upper abdomen, dysphagia, chronic coughing, vomiting or weight loss.
Gastroscopy with a flexible endoscope is an everyday procedure worldwide in the diagnosis of upper digestive tract disorders.
However, patients' inhibition thresholds are often high and the necessary examination is put off.
This is the reason why the nuEndo project, a 'KMU-innovativ' project for SMEs sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), was launched in Tübingen with an initial meeting of the project partners.
Ovesco Endoscopy AG (Tübingen) has recruited two innovative partners - Sensodrive GmbH (Weßling) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM, Berlin) – to collaborate in this complex research subject.
BMBF sponsorship for the project amounts to just under 1.7 m euros and is due to run until 2022.
The aim of the nuEndo project is to replace diagnostic gastroscopy using flexible endoscopes with a completely wireless procedure.
Within the scope of the project, a system for diagnostic gastroscopy is to be developed which consists of a swallowable endoscope capsule and an external magnetic guidance system.
With the help of the video from the endoscope capsule and sensor-assisted magnetic guidance, the user will be able to examine the patient quickly and effectively.
Prof. Jörg Albert, head physician at the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart and associated clinical partner in the nuEndo project explains,
'Thanks to this non-invasive, painless procedure, a diagnostic gastroscopy with a lower level of psychological stress will be acceptable for patients as they only have to swallow a small capsule and then are able to be examined in a more relaxed state.
As a result, the nuEndo system provides the opportunity to detect many illnesses sooner than before, treat ailments effectively and monitor treatment progression more thoroughly.'
The planned nuEndo system has a compact, mobile design and does not require a special infrastructure, which also makes the procedure accessible for smaller practices.
This inherently safe procedure can also be performed by medical personnel other than doctors as it is not necessary to sedate the patient.
The health system benefits from lower demands for medical specialists, extended user groups and earlier diagnosis and treatment of upper digestive tract disorders.
The reasoning behind the project is to research an innovative system for gastroscopy, a frequently performed procedure, in close collaboration with users and patients in order to adapt it to their needs.
The consortium provides all the expertise that this project needs.
The Fraunhofer IZM researches, develops and certifies methods and technologies related to the assembly and connection technology of microelectronic and microsystem technology components/systems.
Sensodrive GmbH is a spin-off of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), which aims to market the DLR's lightweight robot technology in the form of products and services.
Ovesco Endoscopy AG is a medical technology company which was founded by a group of scientists and medical practitioners.
The partnership with Prof. Jörg Albert guarantees the consortium extensive clinical expertise for application-oriented development within the scope of the nuEndo project.
The project coordinator is Dr Sebastian Schostek, Head of Research and Development at Ovesco Endoscopy AG.