The international research team has developed the smallest flexible endoscope in the world. The invention allows to look into the blood vessels, providing high quality 3D images.

Over the past few years there has been tremendous progress in medicine, and nowadays more and more technologies, that have recently been unthinkable, are increasingly being used. One such technology is robots that perform very precise procedures, but this is just one of the devices used by the doctors.

The research teams from the Universities of Adelaide and Stuttgart have developed the world’s smallest flexible endoscope that allows to look into the blood vessels. The invention created by 3D micro-printing provides high-quality 3D images.

The researchers have developed the technology to better understand the causes of heart attacks which kill many people around the world each year. In Australia alone the cardiovascular disease kills one person every 19 minutes. Tile is a significant factor causing them. It consists of fats, cholesterol, and other substances that are deposited on the walls of the blood vessels and restrict the blood flow.

The lens the researchers created is so microscopic that it is not visible with the unaided eye. The entire endoscope, including the protective housing, has a diameter of less than 1 mm. This allows the scientists to look inside a vein to see how plaque is forming, that will allow the new treatments to be developed.

At the moment the invention is at a very early stage of the development, so it is not known when it will become available to the doctors around the world.