To acquire diagnostic images of the internal organs, one must use an endoscope to illuminate the internal tissue of interest and collect the back-scattered and/or fluorescently emitted light. Breaking with the traditional endoscope design for esophagus imaging, over a decade ago Seibel et al. proposed a new paradigm which involved swallowing a tethered capsule that could acquire diagnostic images as it traveled through the digestive tract. This idea was later implemented by Gora et al. in a tethered capsule designed for optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. Since then, several groups proposed novel OCT capsule designs for esophagus imaging, but no one free of shadow artifacts in the OCT image resulting from the motor wires blocking the light during beam scanning. In the latest paper by López-Marín et al., an international research team solved this problem and showcased the first-ever design of a shadow-artifact-free motorized tethered capsule. Beyond the unobstructed circumferential beam scanning, a synchronous driving technique allowed two advanced beam scanning modes, providing accurate beam positioning and localized beam scanning. With these new features, this novel OCT probe holds the promise of improved esophagus diagnostic, image-guided biopsy, and therapy.
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