Improving lesion accessibility by controlling and articulating endoscopic mechanical instruments

Value Proposition

Gastrointestinal endoscopy is among the most widely used procedures with recent estimates of 18 million annual procedures in the United States. There are many challenges faced in performing an endoscopy, posed by several factors including complex patient anatomy and ergonomic burdens on the practitioner. The gastrointestinal tract is tortuous and constrained in space and even with flexible endoscopes with tip angulation capable of wide angle deflection, many lesions require reorientation and repositioning to achieve tissue sampling. Furthermore, endoscopic instruments such as biopsy forceps and polypectomy snares are relatively restricted in their movements, leading to additional challenges. These clinical realities can be associated with increased procedural time, patient discomfort, higher costs and sometimes more invasive surgery. Therefore, there is a need for an endoscopic tool to increase working accessibility during procedures.


Duke inventors have developed a simple endoscopic accessory medical device fully compatible with existing endoscopes that enables bidirectional bending to improve tissue acquisition and endoscopic capabilities. This is intended to assist physicians in accessing hard-to-reach pathologies in the gastrointestinal tract. This accessory uses novel segments that create a spine-like bending tip to create smooth articulation. A prototype has been developed and demonstrated to achieve 90-degree max bending of biopsy forceps in two directions with an ergonomic control handle.

Other Applications

Although most advantageous for endoluminal endoscopy, endoscopes and like devices are used for a variety of minimally invasive surgeries in the peritoneal, laparoscopic and sinus space.


  • A universal device accessory design compatible with current endoscopes
  • Spine-like bending tip provides high fidelity response
  • Achieves 90-degree max bending

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Liang, Lucy
  • Bokadia, Pratik
  • Leiman, David "David"
  • Qi, Xiaoyu
  • Telang, Urvi

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Pratt School of Engineering