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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2 (2011), Issue 4, Pages 459-471
Research Article

Therapeutic Capsule Endoscopy: Opportunities and Challenges

Mahdi Rasouli,1 Lin Lin,1 Andy Prima Kencana,1 Kai-Juan Wong,2 Su-Lim Tan,2 Khek Yu Ho,3 and Soo Jay Phee1

1School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
3National University Hospital, Singapore

Received 1 December 2010; Accepted 1 July 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The increasing demand for non-invasive (or less-invasive) monitoring and treatment of medical conditions has attracted both physicians and engineers to work together and investigate new methodologies. Wireless capsule endoscopy is a successful example of such techniques which has become an accepted routine for diagnostic inspection of the gastrointestinal tract. This method offers a non-invasive alternative to traditional endoscopy and provides the opportunity for exploring distal areas of the small intestine which are otherwise not accessible. Despite these advantages, wireless capsule endoscopy is still limited in functionality compared to traditional endoscopy. Wireless capsule endoscopes with advanced functionalities, such as biopsy or drug delivery, are highly desirable. In this article, the current status of wireless capsule endoscopy is reviewed together with some of its possible therapeutic applications as well as the existing challenges.