The Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM has won an award in the national innovation competition “365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas”. The camera is used in healthcare technology, such as endoscopes. Smaller than the head of a pin and with a resolution of 62,500 pixels thanks to a unique “packaging technology”, Fraunhofer IZM’s microcamera sets a new benchmark in healthcare technology. Earlier, similar cameras were equipped with fiber optics, which allowed a resolution of 10,000 pixels. The endoscope with the tiny camera is expected to cost just a few euros. This high cost efficiency makes disposable endoscopes possible, unheard of to date because conventional endoscopes require expensive and laborious cleaning processes. Other applications for the endoscope can be found in the automotive industry. For example, the microcamera could replace the rear-view mirror, which would significantly reduce a vehicle’s air flow resistance and increase energy efficiency.

Greater resolution, sharper images, and more efficient diagnostic processes – this is the promise of an endoscopy capsule developed by Fraunhofer IZM to allow more detailed small intestine diagnostics.

2001 the first endoscopic capsule took its journey through the small intestine of a human patient. With its miniature camera, the capsule captured thousands of images of the small bowel. six meters of winding intestine had long prevented normal endoscopic diagnostics in this region of the digestive system. Since this breakthrough, capsule endoscopy has become the norm, made possible with a range of different capsule designs.

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