Canon is working with leading research institutions in the U.S. at the forefront of modern medicine to apply its advanced optical and imaging technologies to leading-edge medicine.
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At the Healthcare Optics Research Laboratory (HORL) in Boston, Canon U.S.A. is leveraging Canon’s technological strengths in such areas as micro-optics fabrication technology, diffraction optics simulation, and optical design technology to develop a less than 1 mm diameter ultra-miniature fiber endoscope. It consists of a micro-lens and a diffraction grating attached to the end of the optical fiber. The high-resolution endoscope will be significantly thinner than conventional devices and robust enough to maintain its integrity within the body. When commercialized, the device will enable real-time observation of the intra-articular and intranasal cavity regions for the first time, facilitating early treatment and new forms of diagnostics.
Ultra-miniature fiber endoscope currently under development for final product
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A physician generally will view CT or MRI images outside of the operating room to confirm the location of a cancer site or to decide where to position a needle. With this system, being developed by HORL, however, the physician specifies the target position for the needle to be inserted into the abdominal or chest cavity using image-guided navigation software. This will be done with the device that sets the angle of insertion accordingly and guides the physician to ensure that the needle correctly reaches the targeted organ location.
In creating a prototype of the needle-guiding system, Canon has been developing motors and sensors that operate in an MRI environment. This system aims to bring greater speed and accuracy to such procedures as biopsies or ablations (treatments using either high or low temperature to destroy cancer cells), which generally rely on a physician’s intuitions and skills.
The ultra-miniature fiber endoscope and needle-guiding system are being developed for commercialization in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Prototype needle-guiding system composed of image-guided navigation software and needle insertion robot
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Genetic testing makes it possible to identify individual susceptibilities to congenital disorders, the likelihood of contracting a disease, and potential side effects of medications. In the United States, Canon is developing genetic testing systems that can perform complex tests in a matter of hours.
Canon U.S.A. established Canon BioMedical (CBMI) in March 2015, aiming to commercialize a genetic testing system made up of testing instruments and reagent cartridges that leverage such core Canon technologies as CMOS sensors and inkjet printing technologies. In September 2015, CBMI launched Novallele Genotyping Assays and their associated reagents, that test for specific DNA sequences used in cancer and hereditary disease research, which went on sale in the United States for research settings. Novallele takes a specific base sequence from DNA, amplifies it, and analyzes the gene, making it possible to detect variations in parts of a genetic sequence or even small genomic indels. The Canon BioMedical team continues to develop these reagents to efficiently amplify DNA and make gene variations easier to find, expanding the number of targets for research to 500 diseases.
Genetic testing system under development at CBMI
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