BioPhotonics published an article on small cameras and their endoscopic applications. The overall endoscope market is growing at a modest 3% a year, said Teri Minor, a senior analyst at the technology market research firm Frost & Sullivan. But there are segments within it, such as the gastrointestinal one, that are growing much faster. “They have new technologies, like capsule endoscopy, which have growth rates through 2016 that could be as much as 18 or 19 percent a year,” she said.
Given Imaging second-generation pill-camera measures 11 x 26 mm and weighs <4 g. The camera snaps 35 pictures a second, and its wide field of view allows doctors to see twice the surface area of that seen with other capsules, said Given Imaging CEO Homi Shamir.
In September 2009 Medigus Ltd. of Omer, Israel announced a 1.2-mm video camera, claiming to have produced the smallest such device in the world. Medigus currently is working with medical device companies and academic teams around the globe to incorporate it into various devices. As the company's product development manager Ariel Smoliar noted, Medigus' sensor fits approximately 50,000 (220H X 224V) of 2.2um pixels into an area that measures 0.7 mm on a side. This is five times the number of fibers in a fiber bundle solution, making the small-area sensor effectively high resolution compared with that alternative.
The sensors for the Medigus camera are manufactured by TowerJazz. TowerJazz runs 8-in. wafers, which means there can be close to 50,000 half-square-millimeter sensors on each one. That multitude is part of what enables the sensors to be produced cheaply enough to render the camera disposable. The advantage of this approach is that it eliminates the need for sterilization between procedures, which can be expensive and a source of infection if not done properly.
The small size of these sensors – as compared with those in other applications – is not necessarily the result of going with a smaller pixel, said Avi Strum, TowerJazz VP and GM. The need to capture clear images in low light makes it difficult – if not impossible – to shrink the pixels much from the size of those used in devices such as cell phones.
Thanks to A.L. for sending me the link!