Nowadays, modern surgery practically does not do without the use of cameras during operations. Especially it concerns surgical interventions on vessels that have an extremely small diameter. Here, one cannot do without observation, and it is desirable that “there is still room” for surgical instruments. Therefore, the miniaturization of devices for these needs is extremely important and recently scientists from the University of Cambridge have developed the smallest to date camera with a very unusual structure, suitable for vessel operations.
The main difference from all existing analogues (besides the size) is that the image processing takes place using the chip-on-tip technology. In "standard" endoscopes, the signal is transmitted through wires to the main device, where it is decrypted and converted into an image. In the new camera, called Leap, everything you need is located at the end of the endoscope. The technology was created together with Omnivision and the prototype of the device has an image size of 400x400 (0.16 megapixels), but in the final version the resolution can be increased to at least 1600x1600 (and this is 2.6 megapixels, which is very worthy).
The diameter of the flexible endoscopic tube is 1.35 millimeters, which makes it possible to use it even for coronary angioscopy (a study of cardiac vessels). In addition, according to the authors, Leap can be used with diagnostic methods such as intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography.
In addition, Leap allows, unlike large endoscopes, not to depend on the cumbersome technology of the operating room, since the Leap can be connected to any ordinary computer. Also in the new development some parts (for example, an optical tube) are disposable, which reduces the risk of transmission of infections and diseases from one person to another in case of insufficient sterilization.