Endoscopy is widely used, but it is a limited procedure. Current endoscopes are too thick and/or inflexible to enter very small spaces like joints or winding lumina such as cardiac arteries and blood vessels in the brain. Single fiber technology faces a calibration problem: when the endoscope bends, the light mixes in the single fibre and the formed image is scattered and becomes useless. Lack of space for device movement makes minimally invasive endoscopy impossible, forcing physicians to use more invasive technologies or techniques such as MRI and CT with lower resolutions and inherent drawbacks like costs and radiation.
There is great need for a minimally invasive endoscope to revolutionize many medical fields. Intra articular imaging, ear-nose-throat (ENT) endoscopies, vascular imaging and neurosurgery, are some examples. In addition to faster and more accurate diagnosis and therapy monitoring, micro endoscopy promises to offer a replacement to MRI and other imaging techniques in many cases.