News Column

Patent Application Titled "Magnetic Field Generation Apparatus and Capsule Medical Device Guiding System" Published Online

June 12, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors CHIBA, Atsushi (Tokyo, JP); KAWANO, Hironao (Tokyo, JP), filed on November 19, 2013, was made available online on May 29, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Olympus Medical Systems Corp.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a magnetic field generation apparatus and a capsule medical device guiding system for generating magnetic field for magnetically guiding a capsule medical device introduced into a subject.

"In the past, in the field of endoscopes, a capsule-type endoscope formed to have such size that can be introduced into a digestive tract of a subject such as a patient has been developed. The capsule-type endoscope has an image-capturing function and a wireless communication function inside of a capsule-shaped casing, and after the capsule-type endoscope is swallowed from the mouth of the subject, the capsule-type endoscope moves within the digestive tract due to peristaltic movement and the like, during which the digestive tract successively obtains image data of images inside of the internal organs of the subject (hereinafter also referred to as in-vivo images), and wirelessly transmits the image data to a reception apparatus provided outside of the subject. The image data received by the reception apparatus are retrieved into an image display apparatus and are subjected to predetermined image processing. Accordingly, the in-vivo images are displayed on a display as a still picture display or a motion picture display. A user such as a doctor or a nurse observes an in-vivo image displayed on the image display apparatus as described above to diagnoses the state of the internal organs of the subject.

"In recent years, a guiding system for guiding a capsule-type endoscope introduced into a subject using magnetic force (which will be hereinafter referred to as magnetic guidance) has been suggested (for example, see JP 2006-68501 A and JP 2008-503310 W). In general, in such guiding system, a permanent magnet is provided inside of the capsule-type endoscope, and a guiding apparatus that has a magnetic field generation unit such as an electromagnet is provided outside of the subject. The magnetic field that is generated by the magnetic field generation unit is applied to the permanent magnet provided inside of the capsule-type endoscope, and the capsule-type endoscope is magnetically guided to a desired position by magnetic attraction occurred from the magnetic field.

"The guiding apparatus may include a display unit for receiving image data obtained by the capsule-type endoscope and displaying the in-vivo image, an input device for operating the position, the posture of the capsule-type endoscope, and the like. In the case of the guiding apparatus, a user can refer to the in-vivo image displayed on the display unit, and use the input device to operate the magnetic guidance of the capsule-type endoscope.

"A system has been developed, in which the magnetic field is applied to the capsule-type endoscope outside of the subject, so that the system performs signal control such as ON/OFF of the switch of the capsule-type endoscope (for example, see WO2007/083708 A)."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A magnetic field generation apparatus for generating a guiding-magnetic field which is a magnetic field for magnetically guiding a target object according to one aspect of the present invention includes a plurality of permanent magnets configured to generate a magnetic field, and a switching unit configured to change relative relationship of the plurality of permanent magnets to switch between a first state in which the plurality of permanent magnets generate the guiding-magnetic field in a predetermined region and a second state in which a strength of the guiding-magnetic field in the predetermined region is less than a strength of the guiding-magnetic field in the first state.

"A capsule medical device guiding system according to another aspect of the present invention includes: a magnetic field generation apparatus for generating a guiding-magnetic field which is a magnetic field for magnetically guiding a target object, wherein the magnetic field generation apparatus includes a plurality of permanent magnets configured to generate a magnetic field, and a switching unit configured to change relative relationship of the plurality of permanent magnets to switch between a first state in which the plurality of permanent magnets generate the guiding-magnetic field in a predetermined region and a second state in which a strength of the guiding-magnetic field in the predetermined region is less than a strength of the guiding-magnetic field in the first state; and a capsule medical device including a magnet and introduced into a subject, wherein the capsule medical device is magnetically guided by the guiding-magnetic field in the predetermined region.

"The above and other features, advantages and technical and industrial significance of this invention will be better understood by reading the following detailed description of presently preferred embodiments of the invention, when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating an example of configuration of capsule medical device guiding system according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic view illustrating a schematic configuration of guiding apparatus as shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 3 is a cross sectional schematic view illustrating an example of an internal structure of the capsule-type endoscope as shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic view illustrating configuration and operation principle of a magnetic field generation unit as shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating configuration and operation principle of a magnetic field generation unit as shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 6 is a schematic view for explaining operation of a flat plane position change unit, a vertical position change unit, an elevation angle change unit, and a traverse angle change unit as shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating operation of a capsule medical device guiding system as shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional side surface view schematically illustrating the guiding apparatus in magnetic field shielded state;

"FIG. 9 is a partial cross-sectional side surface view schematically illustrating the guiding apparatus in a case of weak magnetic field generation state;

"FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional side surface view schematically illustrating a guiding apparatus in a case of magnetic field generation state;

"FIG. 11A is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of magnetic field generation unit (magnetic field generation state) provided in a guiding apparatus of a second embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 11B is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of magnetic field generation unit (magnetic field shielded state) provided in the guiding apparatus of the second embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 12A is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of magnetic field generation unit (magnetic field generation state) provided in the guiding apparatus of a third embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 12B is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of magnetic field generation unit (magnetic field shielded state) provided in the guiding apparatus of the third embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 13 is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of magnetic field generation unit (magnetic field shielded state) provided in a guiding apparatus according to modification 3-1 of the third embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 14A is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of magnetic field generation unit (magnetic field generation state) provided in a guiding apparatus according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 14B is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of magnetic field generation unit (magnetic field shielded state) provided in the guiding apparatus according to the fourth embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 15 is a schematic view illustrating a schematic configuration of guiding apparatus according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention; and

"FIG. 16 is a schematic view for explaining operation state of the guiding apparatus as shown in FIG. 15."

For more information, see this patent application: CHIBA, Atsushi; KAWANO, Hironao. Magnetic Field Generation Apparatus and Capsule Medical Device Guiding System. Filed November 19, 2013 and posted May 29, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4618&p=93&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140522.PD.&OS=PD/20140522&RS=PD/20140522

Keywords for this news article include: Olympus Medical Systems Corp.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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