Developing Next-Generation Endoscope Technology
Endoscopy is a medical procedure in which surgical tools are inserted into a patient’s gastrointestinal tract using an endoscope to reach the site of interest. Once positioned, tools are threaded down the endoscope to perform minimally invasive surgeries. Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) is a specialized form of endoscopy dealing with procedures in the pancreatic and biliary ducts via the duodenum. Physicians performing ERCP use a specialized endoscope known as a duodenoscope. Current clinical procedures involve reusable endoscopes, which are cleaned to sterilize them between patients. However, cross contamination, which can lead to infection and even death, remains a major concern. Boston Scientific is a leader in the medical device industry, and currently makes a wide variety of the disposable tools that are inserted down the working channels of endoscopes to perform procedures. Recently, Boston Scientific has made strides towards addressing potential issues of cross contamination by designing a disposable duodenoscope. Boston Scientific has asked the 2019-2020 SCOPE team to help improve future generations of the duodenoscope design. The team will investigate potential improvements to reduce the waste and cost of the disposable duodenoscope without compromising infection prevention or physician operation, through iterative mechanical design and prototyping with industrial manufacturing techniques.