Similar procedures have been tried before but they involved just one magnet, meaning that only small bypasses could be performed. This new system would allow for larger bypasses.
This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense as well as Beacon Endoscopic, which developed the SAMSEN system.
A second study, also being presented at Digestive Disease Week, showed that a tiny endoscope nicknamed the "mermaid" that is propelled by a magnet and a fin could safely travel the entire human digestive tract and provide accurate images of the stomach as well as the small and large intestines.
Currently, capsule endoscopies rely on the digestive tract's natural movements to move it through the system. Not only does this process take time, but doctors also cannot control the direction of the camera.
The human volunteer in this study was the study's senior author, 69-year-old Naotake Ohtsuka, president of Mu Ltd., which developed the device. He is also professor emeritus at Ryukoku University in Seta, Japan.
"The device moved safely by itself without injuring our volunteer subject and it took more images than the conventional capsule endoscope," Ohtsuka said in the press briefing. "We conclude that the mermaid will be applied in the clinical diagnosis of the whole digestive tract in the future."
In a third and final study being presented at the meeting, researchers determined that a new high-definition, dual-focus colonoscope may enable doctors to diagnose during a colonoscopy whether small polyps in the colon are benign or malignant.
With such a technology, "doctors would feel certain enough in real practice to do this and not have to send the specimen to a pathology lab," said study senior author Dr. Roy Soetikno, a physician with Palo Alto Veteran's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.
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