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ENDOSCOPY : A REVOLUTION

For 50 years, flexible endoscopy has represented a revolution in the diagnosis and treatment of pathologies of the digestive tract, bile ducts and pancreas: the appearance of video-endoscopy, then high-definition endoscopy and finally echo-endoscopy, allows us to visualize the structure of the organ’s walls in an ever finer way, to define the stages of tumor infiltration and to examine the adjacent organs. This has naturally led to considerable progress in terms of treatment and in the control of digestive hemorrhages, the placement of prosthetic device in case of stenosis, the extraction of gallstones, the treatment of surgical complications or abdominal collections.

More recently, these therapeutic abilities have expanded to include the resection of superficial tumors, and the treatment of obesity or functional pathologies of the digestive tract. It has even recently emerged that endoscopy may in the future play a major role in the treatment of diabetes or in certain liver pathologies leading to cirrhosis.

A FIRST ACHIEVEMENT FROM THE COLLABORATION OF PHYSICIANS AND ENGINEERS TO TREAT PATIENTS BY MEANS OF NATURAL ORIFICES THERAPEUTIC ENDOSCOPY

One of our first objectives was to develop a triangulation system that allows us to work “two handed» within the digestive tract, although traditional endoscopes have only one axis-oriented working channel, making the doctor a bit “one armed”.

This triangulation system was marked CE in 2011 and has been clinically tested. It allows, for example, physicians to perform real sutures and manipulate organs by lifting or affixing them.

Given the success of clinical trials, a first spin-off from the University, Endotools Therapeutics, was created: it commercializes a simplified version of this device, which helps treat morbid obesity by reducing the volume of the stomach naturally and through sutures.

From a research perspective, the triangulation system identified two important issues in therapeutic endoscopy:

  • Lack of depth measurement when visualizing the digestive tract
  • Lack of force measurement when handling tissues.

OUR RECENT REALIZATIONS

The first work on the Endomina device led to two new projects : Endoruler and Sensendo.

ENDORULER

The goal of the EndoRuler project is to develop an in-vivo dimension
measurement system. It can measure the size of polyp’s cavities before the
installation of prosthetic devices and the evolution of benign and malignant
tumors.

SENSENDO

The Sensendo project, in collaboration with the Electromagnetism and Telecommunications Department of the Polytechnic Faculty of Mons, has developed a miniaturized force sensor to be placed at the distal end of the instruments.

This device allows, for example, the precise injection of therapeutic compounds into the desired zone or the ” tactual exploration ” in augmented reality of certain lesions, allowing them to be better characterized.