Medical versus Industrial Endoscopes

Medical endoscopes are developed and configured related to the medical need and target organ. Longer scopes can be used to traverse the gastrointestinal tract, whereas shorter scopes would be used to examine the posterior oral pharynx. Diameters also vary according to purpose (Figure 4.5). Medical endoscopes can be either flexible or rigid. Flexible scopes are required for such target organs as the lungs or the colon, whereas

Figure 4.3 Image capture system using a 35 mm camera adapted to the objective lens of a medical endoscope.
Figure 4.4 The distal tip of an industrial videoscope showing the housing and lens for the miniaturized video camera.
Figure 4.5 Examples of endoscope diameter variations. From left to right: 10 mm medical colonoscope, 6 mm industrial video scope, 6.5 mm medical bronchoscope, and a 4.5 mm pediatric medical endoscope. Note the lack of a biopsy channel on the industrial videoscope.

rigid scopes are commonly used for arthroscopy techniques as well as transthoracic, transabdominal, and transpelvic endoscopy. Medical applications of endoscopy include those with both diagnostic and therapeutic goals. Medical diagnostic uses include direct visualization of tissues or membranes, secretion aspiration for microbiological analysis, and tissue or lesion biopsy. Medical therapeutic uses include lesion excision using lasers, organ reexpansion, and secretion aspiration for luminal passageway patency. When used in anthropology and archaeology, endoscopy is employed primarily as a diagnostic tool providing direct visualization for data analysis and documentation, and for tissue biopsy.

Industrial endoscopes have also developed to match their intended application. They can also be either flexible or rigid. Flexible scopes are used in situations where the structure has numerous curves or turns to be negotiated, such as the internal works of a jet engine. Rigid industrial scopes, often called borescopes, are used when the path to the target object is straight ahead. Industrial endoscopes are also used in police work, giving officers the ability to "see" into a room or around corners. Endoscopes have been used for continuous surveillance and in forensic settings to look into closed compartments for evidence or contraband.

Medical and industrial endoscopes are different in design due to their specific applications. The internal fiber-optic bundle, lenses, and optics are essentially the same on both medical and industrial scopes. However, the insertion tubes of medical scopes are covered with a flexible sheath, which allows for smoother passage and easier decontamination between patients. In contrast, the insertion tubes of industrial scopes are typically housed in a stainless steel mesh, giving them greater durability (see Figure 4.2). When selecting an endoscope for use in the field or remote areas, the added durability of the industrial scope is a positive feature.

The supporting equipment used in medical endoscopy, such as light sources, camera control units, visualization, and recording equipment, can be bulky as it is designed for use within a medical facility. It is often mounted on a cart, which can be moved about the medical facility, or permanently mounted in an endoscopy suite. In contrast, industrial endoscopic supporting equipment is designed to be portable and is therefore smaller, lighter, more durable, and can be battery operated for remote applications (Figures 4.6A and 4.6B).

Both medical and industrial endoscopes are available in a variety of diameters and can be as small as 1.9 mm (Figure 4.7). There are fiber-optic systems used in medical settings

Figure 4.6 (A) Portable industrial endoscope system showing a light source, camera control unit, and the videoscope. Also pictured is a goggle-style visual monitoring device. (B) Portable videoendoscopy setup in research setting at Cornell University. System show includes a printer (far left) and an 8 mm video camera for visual monitoring and data recording.

Figure 4.6 (A) Portable industrial endoscope system showing a light source, camera control unit, and the videoscope. Also pictured is a goggle-style visual monitoring device. (B) Portable videoendoscopy setup in research setting at Cornell University. System show includes a printer (far left) and an 8 mm video camera for visual monitoring and data recording.

that are small enough to travel inside a blood vessel. Medical and industrial endoscopes also vary in length. A 60 ft (18.29 m) industrial endoscope is available and has applications in archaeology for preexcavation tomb analysis. Endoscope characteristics such as length, diameter, maneuverability, lens (near focus, far focus, right angle, stereo lens for measurements, etc.), light source, data collection, portability, and durability all provide

Figure 4.7 A 1.9-mm-diameter industrial endoscope with video camera adapted to the objective viewing lens. Light source is a handheld Led system, enhancing the instrument's portability and applicability in remote regions where only tiny openings exist.

the researcher with an instrument capable of being matched to specific research objectives (see Figures 4.2 and 4.7).

In order to fully understand the application of the endoscope in anthropological and archaeological research, it is important to understand its functional components. We will describe the VE, as it is this type of endoscope that holds the most potential for directed research. This potential is due to the VE's image-capturing capability, portability, and flexibility of application.

The videoendoscopic system comprises the scope itself, a light source for illumination, a camera control unit, a system for recording data, a system for visualization, varied lens options, and biopsy or retrieval tools.

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