Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Mark E. Rentschler

Second Advisor

Gregory B. Rieker

Third Advisor

Jonathan A. Schoen


In a continued effort to explore the human digestive tract for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in a minimally invasive fashion, researchers are developing a new type of medical device: the robotic capsule endoscope (RCE). This small, untethered instrument is actively controlled by the physician and combines the functionality of traditional, flexible endoscopy with the versatility of a swallowable device. The narrow, convoluted geometry and active peristaltic forces within the small intestine represent the most challenging environment within the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract for a RCE to operate. A critical design parameter is the active peristaltic forces generated by the migrating motor complex (MMC) of the myenteron against a solid, non-deformable bolus.

In this work, a novel manometric sensor that measures the peristaltic forces generated by the MMC in a porcine model is modified for human use in a minimally invasive, sterile environment. Device modifications, calibration, and test methodology are presented. Results from multiple porcine and human in vivo tests of the sensor serve as a first-of-a-kind measurement that will benefit future RCE development.