A capsule designed to crawl though a patient’s stomach, enabling doctors to view and even treat an internal ailment remotely, has been developed by an international research team.

Researchers from the Sant’Anna Valdera Centre in Pontedera, Italy and the Korean Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, Korea, have developed a prototype crawling system.



Current endoscopies require a patient to swallow a capsule equipped with a camera that transmits images back outside the body. This enables a doctor to remotely examine the tract for potential problems. The capsule is passed through the patient’s gastrointestinal tract by the motion of their digestive system.



But the team led by Paolo Dario at Polo Sant’Anna Valdera believes endoscopies could be improved using surgical capsules with a multitude of legs, allowing them to crawl slowly to a particular part of a patient’s intestines.



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