October 22, 2007
Olympus Develops New Multispectral Video Endoscope System
Incorporating World’s Smallest *1 Multispectral Micro Device
Designed to Support Detection of Early-Stage Cancer Lesions at the Sub-2mm Level
|The technology discussed in the press release is part of the Nanomedicine Device Development Project of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. This product is not available for sale in many countries, including the United States.|
|A multispectral micro device||The tip of the multispectral video endoscope|
Olympus Corporation (President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) has developed a new technology of a multispectral video endoscope system *2 that uses multispectral imaging to support the detection of early-stage cancer lesions. The new system selectively detects multiple fluorescence probes *3. These probes react with cancer-related molecules, facilitating the detection of sub-2-mm cancer lesions that are still inside membranes.
The system was created by incorporating the world’s smallest multispectral micro device, with a diameter of just 6.9 mm, into the distal end of a videoscope with an external diameter of 10 mm. In addition to normal (white light) observation, it can also obtain information about multiple cancer-related molecules through observations in the 600-800 nm wavelength range. Olympus aims to start market assessments in 2013.
|*1||World’s smallest in terms of multispectral elements capable of capturing images according to Olympus’ survey as of October 15, 2007.|
|*2||This technology was selected for the Nanomedicine Device Development Project of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization in August 2004. It was developed using grants received up to March 2007.|
|*3||These are fluorescent dyes designed to react with and detect a target molecule.|
Outline of Technology
The multispectral video endoscope system has a distal end with an external diameter of 10 mm. In addition to normal (white light) observation, it also supports auto-fluorescence *4 observation by exposing tissues to blue light and capturing the auto-fluorescence of fluorescent substances in the body, such as collagen. In this way, it is able to create enhanced images of color differences between normal membrane tissue and tumorous lesions. The system is also equipped with the world’s smallest multispectral micro device. With a diameter of just 6.9 mm, this device is used to detect cancer-related molecules in sub-2-mm early-stage cancer lesions that are still inside membranes. It uses light interference to adjust the light entering the charge-coupled device to any penetration wavelength. This is achieved by controlling the distance between two precisely positioned filters, to which a reflective coating has been applied. To obtain information about cancer-related molecules, the system can selectively detect fluorescent probes for multiple wavelengths at resolutions of 10 nm or smaller in the 600-800 wavelength range.
|*4||With this phenomenon, biological tissue emits weak light colored between green and red when exposed to blue light. It is caused by fluorescent substances that are naturally present in living organisms.|
|When the distance between the two filters matches the wavelength of light entering the system, light of that wavelength can pass through.|
The principle behind the multispectral micro device
Background to Development
In recent years, the growth of the aged population and changing lifestyles has been reflected in growth in the number of cancer patients. Early intervention is essential, both to improve patients’ survival prospects, and also to reduce medical expenses. The most effective approach is to detect and diagnose cancer in the early stages, before there is a risk of metastasis. This facilitates treatment using minimally invasive endoscopic procedures.
Since creating the world’s first practical gastro-camera in 1950, Olympus has continually developed new technologies to create endoscopes with sufficient resolving power to detect subtle changes in the coloration or shape of membrane surfaces. By 2002, Olympus systems were able to provide finely detailed high-definition images.
And in 2006, Olympus commercialized the EVIS LUCERA SPECTRUM videoscope system *5, which supports image-enhanced endoscopy based on the opto-digital method *6. This technology provides clues about lesions by producing enhanced displays of information about membrane thickening and the condition of capillaries in membrane surface layers, and about internal features of membranes, including deep blood vessels. Today endoscopes are used to observe suspected cancerous tissues measuring 1-2 cm. Olympus has taken image-enhanced endoscopy by means of the opto-digital method a step further with the aim of creating technology capable of discovering early-stage cancer lesions by detecting specific molecules in budding cancer lesions, even those measuring less than 2 mm in size. At this stage the risk of metastasis to other organs is minimal, and because minimally invasive treatments can be used, the technology also helps to improve the patient’s quality of life.
|*5||Not available in some countries.|
|*6||With this technology, special optical filters are used to capture light only in specific wavelength ranges. Images are subjected to digital processing to produce enhanced images showing characteristic changes in biological tissues. Three observation methods have been developed for this purpose. Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) provides enhanced images of capillaries and microscopic patterns in membrane surfaces. Auto-fluorescence imaging (AFI) creates enhanced images based on coloration differences between tumorous lesions and normal membranes. Infrared imaging (IRI) produces enhanced displays of information about blood vessels and blood flows deep inside membranes.|
Development System for the Nanomedicine Device Development ProjectGrant Recipients
1. Olympus Corporation, Corporate R&D Center
- Development of multispectral imaging system for use in the detection of information about cancer-related molecules, and technology for the incorporation of this system in endoscopes
- Creation and assessment of analyzer for use in the assessment of in-vivo optical characteristics and in-vivo optical markers
2. Professor Mamoru Tamura, Research Institute of Electronic Science, Hokkaido University
- Development of in-vivo optical characteristic analysis technology
3. Professor Tetsuo Nagano, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the University of Tokyo
- Assessment and investigation of in-vivo optical markers, etc.
- Development and assessment of in-vivo optical characteristic analysis technology
- Assessment of in-vivo optical markers, etc.
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