Though guidewires are a common part of many endoscopic procedures as they help the scope reach its desired organ successfully, they are often difficult to maneuver due to their flexible and slippery construction. To combat this and assist physicians in rapid and effective endoscopic placement, researchers at UCI have developed a novel device which, by a simple turn of a finger wheel, allows the guidewires to be automatically and controllably advanced and retracted.
·Endoscopic procedures where there are small cameras placed in the body to stop, lower, or retract slippery wires containing the camera.
·Besides endoscopy, this technology can be used in interventional radiology, or any medical procedures that includes intravenous lines using guidewires.
Endoscopes are medical devices that allow physicians to obtain images of the interior of an organ by inserting a wire-mounted camera directly into the patient. One of the most common types of endoscopy is cystoscopy, which images the upper urinary tract directly. In the US alone, over 4 million cystoscopies are performed every year to identify UTIs, urinary stones, and even cancerous tumors. As such, cystoscopies are a critical part of many diagnostic plans. Despite how routine they have become, cystoscopies (and many other endoscopies in general) are still often difficult to perform due to the guidewires used in the insertion process. Briefly, the guidewires, which are thinner and more flexible than the endo- or cystoscope, are inserted first to establish a pathway. The scope is then inserted and advanced along the guidewire so that it reaches the appropriate destination. Unfortunately, due to their flexible and slippery construction, these guidewires are often difficult for physicians to maneuver, making the endoscopic procedure more time-consuming and prone to complications from accidental misplacement.
To aid in rapid and easy guidewire placement, researchers at UCI have developed a novel device, the Uro-wheel, which allows guidewires to be easily inserted, advanced, and retracted by the turning of a simple finger wheel. The Uro-wheel is disposable and constructed from inexpensive plastic and can be used in nearly any type of endoscopic procedure.