A magnetically actuated anchoring system for a wireless endoscopic capsule
In this study, we propose a new magnetically actuated anchoring system for wireless capsule endoscopes (WCE) by employing the principle of a switchable magnetic spring. A force model is derived to predict the magnetic force needed to support the interaction between the anchors and the intestinal lumen. The theoretical and experimental analysis conducted shows that the magnetic spring is capable of providing the force needed to activate the anchoring mechanism, which consists of four foldable legs. A prototype capsule with a size comparable with the size of a commercial WCE was designed, fabricated, and tested. The in-vitro tests with a real small intestine show that the proposed anchoring mechanism is able to raise the friction force between the anchoring legs and inner wall of the intestine by more than two times after its activation using an external magnetic field. Experimental results presented demonstrate that the proposed anchoring system, which has a low foot-print not taking up too much space on the capsule, can provide a reliable anchoring capability with the capsule inside the intestinal lumen.