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Int J Surg. 2012;10(7):345-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2012.05.009. Epub 2012 May 26.

A technical review of flexible endoscopic multitasking platforms.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Western Infirmary, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow G11 6NT, UK.



Further development of advanced therapeutic endoscopic techniques and natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) requires a powerful flexible endoscopic multitasking platform.


Medline search was performed to identify literature relating to flexible endoscopic multitasking platform from year 2004-2011 using keywords: Flexible endoscopic multitasking platform, NOTES, Instrumentation, Endoscopic robotic surgery, and specific names of various endoscopic multitasking platforms. Key articles from articles references were reviewed.


Flexible multitasking platforms can be classified as either mechanical or robotic. Purely mechanical systems include the dual channel endoscope (DCE) (Olympus), R-Scope (Olympus), the EndoSamurai (Olympus), the ANUBIScope (Karl-Storz), Incisionless Operating Platform (IOP) (USGI), and DDES system (Boston Scientific). Robotic systems include the MASTER system (Nanyang University, Singapore) and the Viacath (Hansen Medical). The DCE, the R-Scope, the EndoSamurai and the ANUBIScope have integrated visual function and instrument manipulation function. The IOP and DDES systems rely on the conventional flexible endoscope for visualization, and instrument manipulation is integrated through the use of a flexible, often lockable, multichannel access device. The advantage of the access device concept is that it allows optics and instrument dissociation. Due to the anatomical constrains of the pharynx, systems are designed to have a diameter of less than 20 mm. All systems are controlled by traction cable system actuated either by hand or by robotic machinery. In a flexible system, this method of actuation inevitably leads to significant hysteresis. This problem will be accentuated with a long endoscope such as that required in performing colonic procedures. Systems often require multiple operators. To date, the DCE, the R-Scope, the IOP, and the Viacath system have data published relating to their application in human.


Alternative forms of instrument actuation, camera control and master console ergonomics should be explored to improve instrument precision, sphere of action, size and minimize assistance required.

Copyright © 2012 Surgical Associates Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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