Endoo Project

The Endoo Project (Endoscopic versatile robotic guidance, diagnosis and therapy of magnetic-driven soft-tethered endoluminal robots) aims at developing an integrated robotic platform for the navigation of a soft-tethered colonoscope capable of performing painless diagnosis and treatment. Colorectal cancer is one of the major causes of mortality but survival rate dramatically increase in case of early diagnosis. Current screening colonoscopy is limited due to a variety of factors including invasiveness, patient discomfort, fear of pain, and the need for sedation; these factors consistently limit the pervasiveness of mass screening campaigns. Built around a novel robotic colonoscope and designed to make its use straightforward for the endoscopist and ideal for mass screening, the Endoo system has the potential to introduce in the clinical practice a disruptive new paradigm for painless colonoscopy. Endoo combines a “front-wheel” magnetic–driven approach for active and smooth navigation with diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities for overcoming the limitations of current colonoscopy in terms of patient discomfort, dependence on operator skills, costs and outcomes for the healthcare systems. The acceptance and consolidation of robotics in the medical domain and the ever–growing development of endoscopic–driven technologies are the fundamental building blocks for the realization of the Endoo platform which can take advantage of solid and IPR protected technologies provided by the Project Partners. Aim of the Endoo Project is to bring the system to the market for an extensive clinical use. The Endoo Consortium is a unique blend of internationally recognized European pioneers (in all the involved disciplines), which will guarantee a dramatic leap forward in the current technology through successful implementation in terms of scientific innovation, industrial engineering, certification, market analysis, and ultimately clinical deployment.

Main tasks within the project

Main responsibilities within Endoo, from a medical point of view, are the following: i) setting-up experimental protocols and tests together with OVE and UEDIN; ii) preparing test protocols and performing phantom tests in series; iii) medical validation of the platform by defining and preparing ex-vivo tests (e.g., comparing the Endoo platform with standard colonoscopy); iv) performing dependability studies and training / education on the Endoo platform; v) preparing the clinical protocol and documents for ethical committee; and vi) contributing to risk assessment, dissemination and intellectual proprieties definition.

Previous experience

The Department of Surgical Sciences of the University of Torino (UNITO) possesses outstanding records of publications and patents, and it performs high-level interdisciplinary research at the interface between robotics and clinical application. Within Department of Surgical Sciences of the University of Torino (UNITO), the specific research group who intends to participate to the Endoo proposal developed 4 international patents in the field of flexible digestive endoscopy, and has been or is still involved in several multicentric national and international clinical projects mainly in the role of coordinator, 3 projects funded by the European Commission.

The University of Torino (UNITO) participates to more than 50 European Projects at a time with the assistance of an administrative department specialized in the management of European Projects of the 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Programs, which allows a smooth administration, mandatory for scientific effectiveness.