Engineering 101

Miniature sensors create potential high-performance endoscopes

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Worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, ams has announced the introduction of the latest products in its award-winning NanEye family, building on the success of the industry’s original miniature image sensor module for endoscopes, the NanEye 2D. The NanEyeM and NanEyeXS, aim to enable the production of high-performance, single-use endoscopes for use in minimally invasive surgery.

The new 1mm2 NanEyeM offers a high-resolution 100kpixel readout over an LVDS digital interface at a maximum rate of 49 frames/s at 62MHz. The NanEyeM, which is supplied as a Micro Camera Module (MCM) including a cable up to two meters long, features a custom multi-element lens which greatly improves the effective resolution of the sensor and reduces distortion. Compared to the earlier NanEye 2D sensor, which has a single-element lens, the new NanEyeM offers improved MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) of >50% in the corners, lower distortion of <15%, and lower color aberration of <1Px.

The new NanEyeXS from ams has a 0.46mm2 footprint. It produces a digital output in 40kpixel resolution at a maximum rate of 55 frames/s at 28MHz. The sensor’s very small size offers significant advantages when developing ultra-small instruments for minimally invasive procedures, enabling the design of surgical devices with a very small diameter, or freeing more space for working channels in larger devices. Like the NanEyeM, the NanEyeXS is supplied as an MCM.

The NanEyeM is also available in surface-mount chip form.

The introduction of the new NanEye image sensors promises to enable a new approach to the supply and use of many types of endoscopes for applications including: Arthroscopy, bronchoscopy, ureteroscopy, cystoscopy, laryngoscopy, hysteroscopy, and neuroscopy.

In volume, endoscopes based on the new NanEye sensors will have a low enough unit cost to support the emerging single-use market. This has numerous benefits, including eliminating the risk of cross-contamination resulting from ineffective sterilization, avoiding high maintenance costs, and minimizing the risk of disruption of operating theater schedules when re-usable endoscopes are unavailable for use.

Chip-on-tip endoscopes based on the NanEyeM or NanEyeXS also offer much higher image quality than is available from the conventional optical fiber-based endoscopes which are widely used in operating theaters. The NanEye image sensors produce sharper pictures, better contrast and a smoother video output to enable practitioners to more accurately and precisely guide surgical equipment inside the patient’s body.

Dina Aguiar, Marketing Manager for the NanEye products at ams, stated: “Medical endoscopy is a rapidly growing market and the demand for single-use devices is expected to increase, creating a clear need for cost-effective imaging solutions that offer a level of performance and image quality equal to that seen in reusable endoscopes. The NanEyeM and NanEyeXS modules were designed to meet this market need by offering a full package approach with exceptional imaging capabilities while retaining a cost competitive edge in high volumes for single-use endoscopes and catheter-based applications.

“These new additions to the NanEye family will complement the award winning NanEye 2D, which pioneered the technological evolution of medical endoscopy. ams thus reinforces its position in the rapidly growing market for disposable endoscopy with unique products that will help further revolutionize patient care.”

The NanEyeXS and NanEyeM image sensors will be available for sampling in January 2019.

Source ams

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