A Novel Device for Gastric Cancer Screening in Low- and Middle-Income Nations
Caprara, Robert Joseph
As the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide, gastric cancer is a global issue. Screening programs have had a significant impact on reducing mortality but are unavailable to most people in in low- and middle-income nations. In this document, we introduce a platform designed to enable inexpensive gastric screening programs to take place in remote areas of low- and middle income nations. The system consists of a swallowable endoscopic capsule connected to an external water distribution system by a multi-channel soft tether. The expulsion of pressurized water from the capsule's fluid exhaust ports allows the user to maneuver the capsule and orient the on-board endoscopic camera within the patient. Upon completion of a cancer screening procedure, the outer shell of the capsule and the soft tether can be disposed, while the endoscopic camera is reclaimed without needing further reprocessing or sterilization. Experimental assessment was accomplished through a set of bench trials, ex vivo analysis, and in vivo feasibility validation. During the ex vivo trials, the platform was able to visualize landmarks that are typically observed during a gastric cancer screening procedure in less than eight minutes. With the system's compact footprint, the minimal cost of the disposable parts, and the possibility of running on relatively available and inexpensive resources, the platform can potentially widen gastric cancer screening programs in low- and middle-income nations.