Polycarbonate for capsule endoscopy

Polycarbonate for capsule…
The introduction of capsule endoscopy has resulted in great progress in the detection of gastrointestinal diseases and is an important complement to gastroscopy and colonoscopy. For the examination, the patient swallows the small capsule, which is transported like food through the digestive tract while delivering images of the stomach and intestinal walls. Doctors store the images on external image recorders and analyze them to arrive at a diagnosis.

Because patients ingest the capsules, the materials used must meet extremely stringent requirements. For the capsule shell, Shenyang Shangxian uses a special grade of the high-tech polycarbonate Makrolon from Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience. The material is biocompatible and is impervious to both stomach acid and the alkaline intestinal flora. It is also mechanically strong and safe, ensuring a trouble-free examination.

Endoscopy as convenient as swallowing a pill

"Capsule endoscopes are composed of a miniature camera, digital processor system, and a transceiver for wireless data transmission," said Sun Yufeng, General Manager of Shenyang Shangxian Technology. "They are taken with water, just like medicine. The materials therefore have to be safe and corrosion-resistant, while also allowing for a large filming angle for the camera. Doctors also have stringent requirements for image quality. Covestro's polycarbonate is perfectly suited for this application."

The plastic is highly transparent, enabling clear, well-resolved images. It also offers ample design freedom, facilitating a large filming angle for the camera so that a wide field of view can be covered. These advantages make an important contribution toward eliminating uncertainties in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases and spare the patients discomfort during the examination.

Tony Tong, Covestro marketing expert for polycarbonates in China: "Covestro develops solutions for the utilization of polycarbonates in medical technology, and there are many applications here. We will continue to support companies in this sector in China with their use of polycarbonate."