Video capsule endoscopy (VCE) is now a clinically accepted diagnostic modality in which miniaturized technology, an on-board power supply and wireless telemetry stand as technological foundations for other capsule endoscopy (CE) devices. However, VCE does not provide therapeutic functionality, and research towards therapeutic CE (TCE) has been limited. In this paper, a route towards viable TCE is proposed, based on multiple CE devices including important acoustic sensing and drug delivery components. In this approach, an initial multimodal diagnostic device with high-frequency quantitative microultrasound that complements video imaging allows surface and subsurface visualization and computer-assisted diagnosis. Using focused ultrasound (US) to mark sites of pathology with exogenous fluorescent agents permits follow-up with another device to provide therapy. This is based on an US-mediated targeted drug delivery system with fluorescence imaging guidance. An additional device may then be utilized for treatment verification and monitoring, exploiting the minimally invasive nature of CE. While such a theranostic patient pathway for gastrointestinal treatment is presently incomplete, the description in this paper of previous research and work under way to realize further components for the proposed pathway suggests it is feasible and provides a framework around which to structure further work.
- Capsule endoscopy
- Targeted drug delivery