Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic condition that is characterized by eosinophils infiltrating the esophageal wall. The treatment of the disease may require multiple follow up sedated endoscopies and biopsies to confirm elimination of eosinophils. These procedures are expensive, time consuming, and may be difficult for patients to tolerate. Here we report on the development of a confocal microscopy capsule for diagnosis and monitoring of EoE. The swallowable capsule implements a high-speed fiber-based reflectance confocal microscopy technique termed Spectrally Encoded Confocal Microscopy (SECM). SECM scans the sample in one dimension without moving parts by using wavelength swept source illumination and a diffraction grating at the back plane of the objective lens. As the wavelength of the source is tuned, the SECM optics within the 7 × 30 mm capsule are rotated using a driveshaft enclosed in a 0.8 mm flexible tether. A single rotation of the optics covered a field of view of 22 mm × 223 μm. The lateral and axial resolutions of the device were measured to be 2.1 and 14 μm, respectively. Images of Acetic Acid stained swine esophagus obtained with the capsule ex vivo and in vivo clearly showed squamous epithelial nuclei, which are smaller and less reflective than eosinophils. Imaging of esophageal biopsies from EoE patients ex vivo demonstrated the capability of this technology to visualize individual eosinophils. Based on the results of this study, we believe that this capsule will be a simpler and more effective device for diagnosing EoE and monitoring the therapeutic response of this disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics