Cell Phone Surgical Microendoscope

Use the camera power of a common mobile device to develop an endoscope for use in root canal surgery in the developing world.


A major problem in remote, low-resource settings is oral health because of a lack of practising dentists where something as simple as a tooth infection can become fatal. Where are several sites where dentists have put on clinics, educated the populous on oral health, and performed root canal surgeries to help the oral health of the country. These clinics commonly lack reliable, consistent power supplies and portable imaging equipment to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. We are working on providing dentists need a reliable, inexpensive, and portable platform to visualize oral bacteria following a root canal or other minor oral procedures


The possibility of developing an endoscope with a flexible fiber bundle has been demonstrated previously in several groups, (e.g., Pierce, M., Yu, D., Richards-Kortum, R. High-resolution Fiber-optic Microendoscopy for in situ Cellular Imaging. J. Vis. Exp. (47), e2306, doi:10.3791/2306 (2011).) Where they built the following device: Microsoft PowerPoint - JOVE_v1_figures

We have proposed designing and building a portable endoscope utilizing the ubiquitous power of modern day smart phone cameras. Using a fiber imaging bundle coupled to the camera, we should be able to image inside a patient's mouth and detect the particular sort of bacteria associated with root canals.

Parts for a prototype have been ordered and an initial design has been created. Tests will be carried out on the ability of the system to image bacteria once the system has been built.