WO2015072432A1 - Capsule endoscope and capsule endoscope system - Google Patents

Capsule endoscope and capsule endoscope system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015072432A1
WO2015072432A1 PCT/JP2014/079757 JP2014079757W WO2015072432A1 WO 2015072432 A1 WO2015072432 A1 WO 2015072432A1 JP 2014079757 W JP2014079757 W JP 2014079757W WO 2015072432 A1 WO2015072432 A1 WO 2015072432A1
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WO
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imaging
capsule endoscope
light
image
wavelength component
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PCT/JP2014/079757
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French (fr)
Japanese (ja)
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哲夫 薬袋
内山 昭夫
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オリンパス株式会社
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B1/00Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor
    • A61B1/06Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor with illuminating arrangements
    • A61B1/0661Endoscope light sources
    • A61B1/0684Endoscope light sources using light emitting diodes [LED]
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B1/00Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor
    • A61B1/04Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor combined with photographic or television appliances
    • A61B1/041Capsule endoscopes for imaging
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B1/00Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor
    • A61B1/06Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor with illuminating arrangements
    • A61B1/0653Instruments for performing medical examinations of the interior of cavities or tubes of the body by visual or photographical inspection, e.g. endoscopes; Illuminating arrangements therefor with illuminating arrangements with wavelength conversion

Abstract

Provided are a capsule endoscope and capsule endoscope system capable of acquiring images with a high level of data for intended color components using white LED as the light source for illumination inside the subject. The capsule endoscope (10) is provided with: an illumination unit (12), which has a light-emitting element for generating light comprising a first wavelength component as a result of the flow of electric current and a fluorescent material for generating light comprising a second wavelength component that differs from the first wavelength component as a result of absorbing light containing the first wavelength component and which is capable of emitting illumination light comprising the first and second wavelength components; an image pickup unit (11) for imaging inside a subject illuminated by the illumination light generated by the illumination unit (12) to acquire image data; and a control unit (13) for switching the spectral characteristics of the illumination light generated by the illumination unit (12) by changing the size of the electric current flowing to the illumination unit (12) in synchrony with the image pickup actions of the image pickup unit (11).

Description

Endoscope system capsule endoscope and a capsule

The present invention is a capsule endoscope that acquires image information by imaging is introduced 該被 the specimen into the subject, and the image of the inside of the subject by using the image information capsule endoscope acquires It relates to a capsule endoscope system for creating.

In the field of endoscopes for imaging the inside of a subject, a plurality of types of wavelength components of light (i.e., the color light of a plurality of colors) by performing the imaging by irradiating the subject to acquire a spectral image of each color component technology has been known. As an example, narrow band-pass filter narrowband filter built electronic endoscope system narrowing the wavelength band of the illumination light using the (Narrow Band Imaging: hereinafter referred NBI) and the like. In NBI, was narrowed by a narrow-band band-pass filter of red (R), green (G), and the spectral of each color component by the surface sequential method sequentially illuminate each color light of blue (B) in an organ or the like in the subject to capture an image.

In recent years, it swallowed into the subject, even in a capsule endoscope for imaging while moving the digestive tract, a technique for obtaining a spectral image of each color component has been studied (for example, see Patent Document 1 ).

JP 2007-319442 JP

Incidentally, in the subject, the color components of wavelength 415nm and near the absorption band of hemoglobin (i.e., the blue component) is absorbed easily. On the other hand, in the capsule endoscope, the conventional white LED is used as a light source. Therefore, in the image data based on the reflected light of the white light irradiated into the subject, very low levels of the data of the blue component as compared with the data of the red component absorption is relatively small within the object, dark it was not possible to obtain only a spectral image. However, data of the blue component, because it reflects well the fine structure of the surface layer structure in the subject, obtaining the level data of the blue component high image are desired.

In order to increase the level of data of the blue component, as NBI described above, the white light narrowed, it is conceivable to sequentially irradiating the light of each color component in the subject. However, the provision of the narrow-band filter or the like in the capsule endoscope to be swallowed into the subject is difficult has size limitations.

The present invention was made in view of the above, and aims to provide a capsule endoscope and a capsule endoscope system capable of acquiring data level high image of a desired color component to.

To solve the above problems and achieve the object, a capsule endoscope according to the present invention, a light emitting element for generating light containing a first wavelength component by current flow, said first wavelength and a phosphor which generates light containing a different second wavelength component from said first wavelength component by absorbing light containing components, the illumination light including the first and second wavelength components and capable of emitting light illumination means, the illumination means by imaging an inside of the subject illuminated by the illumination light is generated, and an imaging means for obtaining image data, in synchronization with the imaging operation of said imaging means, said illuminating means by varying the magnitude of the current applied to, characterized in that it comprises a control means for performing control to switch the spectral characteristics of the illumination light the illuminating means is generated.

In the capsule endoscope, the control means, during a single exposure period of the still image capturing, and switches the spectral characteristics of illumination light in which the illuminating means is generated.

In the capsule endoscope, the control means, when the imaging operation by the imaging unit is started, after the light having a first spectral characteristic by a predetermined period emission, different from the first spectral characteristics light having a second spectral characteristic, characterized in that light is emitted a predetermined time period.

In the capsule endoscope, wherein the first spectral characteristics with a second spectral characteristic, said first wavelength component the illumination means is included in the illumination light produced and the second wavelength component wherein the intensity ratios are different.

In the capsule endoscope, a center wavelength of the first wavelength component is shorter than the center wavelength of the second wavelength component in the first spectral characteristic, said for the second wavelength component first greater than the intensity ratio of the wavelength component 1, in the second spectral characteristics, the intensity ratio of the first wavelength component with respect to the second wavelength component, said less than the intensity ratio in the first spectral characteristics the features.

In the capsule endoscope, the light emission period of light of said first spectral characteristic, wherein longer than the emission period of light of said second spectral characteristics.

In the capsule endoscope, the first wavelength component is characterized in that any one of 400 nm ~ 470 nm.

A capsule endoscope system according to the present invention is characterized by comprising the above-described capsule endoscope, an image processing apparatus for processing image data to which the capsule endoscope is acquired, the.

In the capsule endoscope system, the image pickup means, red, green, and acquires image data of each color component of blue, the image processing apparatus, based on the image data to create a spectral image of each color component it is characterized in.

The capsule endoscope according to the present invention, the first by absorbing a light emitting element for generating light containing a first wavelength component by current flow, the light including the first wavelength component of and a phosphor for generating light containing a different second wavelength component from the wavelength components, and capable of emitting illumination means the illumination light including the first and second wavelength components, the illumination means is generating the was within the subject illuminated by the illumination light by capturing an image pickup means for acquiring image data, in synchronization with the imaging operation of the imaging unit, by changing the magnitude of the current supplied to the lighting means, and a control means for performing control to switch the spectral characteristics of the illumination light the illuminating means is generated, said control means to said imaging means, at a predetermined imaging interval, the illumination light of different kinds spectral characteristics from each other its imaging of a plurality of times under the A series of imaging operations performed are respectively, characterized in that to execute repeatedly at a predetermined cycle.

In the capsule endoscope, the plurality of types of the illumination light, the illumination means with illumination light intensity ratios are different from each other between said first wavelength component included in the illumination light and the second wavelength component generated characterized in that there.

In the capsule endoscope, a center wavelength of said first wavelength component, the shorter the center wavelength of the second wavelength component, the control means, to said imaging means, for the second wavelength component a first round of image pickup under illumination light intensity ratio of the first wavelength component has a greater than one first spectral characteristic, the intensity ratio of the first wavelength component with respect to the second wavelength components and a second round of image pickup under illumination light having the first said intensity ratio is smaller than the second spectral characteristic in the spectral characteristics of, and wherein the to be executed by the imaging intervals.

In the capsule endoscope, the first-time exposure time in the imaging of the is characterized by longer than the exposure time in the second time imaging.

In the capsule endoscope, the first wavelength component is characterized in that any one of 400 nm ~ 470 nm.

A capsule endoscope system according to the present invention is characterized by comprising the above-described capsule endoscope, an image processing apparatus for processing image data to which the capsule endoscope is acquired, the.

In the capsule endoscope system, the image processing apparatus, the plurality of times of on the basis of the image data acquired respectively by the image, creating a plurality of images each pixel of the corresponding pixel among the plurality of images characterized by creating a composite image by adding the value.

In the capsule endoscope system, the image processing apparatus, based on said plurality of times image data acquired respectively by the imaging, to create a plurality of images, respectively, in any of the images of the plurality of images the pixel values ​​of pixels that are saturated in, characterized by creating a composite image by replacing a pixel value of the corresponding pixel in the other image of the plurality of images.

In the capsule endoscope system, the image pickup unit acquires red, green, image data of each color component of blue, the image processing apparatus, based on the image data acquired respectively by the image of the plurality of times, characterized by creating a spectral image of each color component.

According to the present invention, in synchronization with the imaging operation, the switching between the spectral characteristics of light that illuminates the inside of the subject, it is possible to acquire the data level high image of a desired color component.

Figure 1 is a schematic diagram showing a schematic configuration of a capsule endoscope system according to a first embodiment of the present invention. Figure 2 is a block diagram corresponding to the capsule endoscope system shown in Fig. Figure 3 is a schematic view showing an example of a structure of a white LED of the pseudo white scheme. Figure 4A is a graph schematically illustrating the spectral characteristics of blue LED shown in FIG. Figure 4B is a graph schematically illustrating the spectral characteristics of the fluorescence phosphor shown in FIG. 3 is generated. Figure 5 is a chromaticity diagram. Figure 6 is a spectral characteristic of the white light white LED emits (when strongly drive current) a graph schematically showing. Figure 7 is a spectral characteristic of the white light white LED emits (when weak drive current) a graph schematically showing. Figure 8 is a diagram for explaining the control operation by the control unit of the capsule endoscope shown in FIG. Figure 9A is a schematic diagram showing the data level of the image data by the imaging unit to output every imaging period (the case of changing the spectral characteristic). 9B is a schematic diagram showing the data level of the image data by the imaging unit to output every imaging period (if you spectral characteristics constant). Figure 10 is a diagram for explaining the control operation of the control unit in the second embodiment. Figure 11A is a schematic diagram showing the data level of the image data by the imaging unit outputs each for performing one imaging (when strongly drive current). Figure 11B is a schematic diagram showing the data level of the image data by the imaging unit outputs each for performing one imaging (when weak drive current). Figure 12 is a diagram for explaining the control operation of the control unit in the first modification.

Hereinafter, the embodiments of the capsule endoscope and a capsule endoscope system according to the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings. It should be understood that the invention is not limited by these embodiments. In the drawings, it is denoted by the same reference numerals denote the same parts.

(Embodiment 1)
Figure 1 is a schematic diagram showing a schematic configuration of a capsule endoscope system according to a first embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, a capsule endoscope system 1 according to the first embodiment is introduced into the subject 2 acquires image data by imaging the analyte 2, superimposed on the radio signal a capsule endoscope 10 that transmits a radio signal transmitted from the capsule endoscope 10, a receiving device 20 received via the receiving antenna unit 3 attached to the subject 2, the capsule image data endoscope 10 is acquired, uptake via the receiver 20, and an image processing unit 30 for creating an image of the object within the 2 by using the image data.

Figure 2 is a block diagram illustrating a capsule endoscope system 1.
The capsule endoscope 10 is a device including various components such as the imaging element to the casing of the capsule shape of the subject 2 swallowable size, an imaging unit 11 for imaging the subject 2, the It includes an illumination unit 12 for illuminating the inside of the specimen 2, a control unit 13, a memory 14, a transmitter 15, an antenna 16, a power supply unit 17.

Imaging unit 11 is, for example, an imaging device such as a CCD or CMOS for generating and outputting an imaging signal from an optical image formed on the light receiving surface representing a subject 2, provided on the light receiving surface side of the imaging element It has been and an optical system such as an objective lens. Imaging device, red (R), green (G), and a color sensor which outputs a blue image data corresponding to each color component of (B) (wavelength component) (R data, G data, B data).

Lighting unit 12 has a white LED (Light Emitting Diode) that emits white light. Here, the emission type of the white LED, method using a yellow phosphor is a blue LED and the complementary color (hereinafter, referred to as pseudo-white mode), purple (or near-ultraviolet) LED and the red, green and blue of the three system using a fluorescent substance, and a method of combining the three kinds of LED emitting respectively red, green and blue are known. In the first embodiment, among these methods, using a white LED of pseudo white scheme.

Figure 3 is a schematic view for explaining a mechanism of emission of the white LED of pseudo white scheme. As shown in FIG. 3, the white LED covers a substrate 121, a cavity 122 disposed on the substrate 121, and blue LED123 mounted on the substrate 121, the blue LED123 disposed within the cavity 122 fluorescence It includes a body 124 and a transparent resin 125 that seals these units. Blue LED123 includes, for example, a gallium nitride crystal, a current flows, the central wavelength lambda 1 (lambda 1 is, for example, about 400 nm ~ 470 nm) to generate a blue light (see FIG. 4A). On the other hand, the phosphor 124, for example, YAG is intended that the fluorescent agent yellow (yttrium aluminum garnet) -based mixed in a transparent resin material such as epoxy or silicon resin, is excited by blue light blue LED123 emits light , the center wavelength λ 2 (λ 2> λ 1 , λ 2 , for example about 520 nm ~ 640 nm) to generate a yellow light (fluorescence) (see FIG. 4B).

When the driving current is supplied to such a white LED, a part of blue light emitted from the blue LED123 is transmitted through the phosphor 124, the remainder is absorbed by the phosphor 124. Phosphor 124 is excited by the blue light absorbed to generate yellow light. As a result, a yellow light blue light and a phosphor 124 that has passed through the phosphor 124 has occurred is mixed, white light is emitted.

Figure 5 is a chromaticity diagram for explaining the principle of color mixing. Each coordinate on the chromaticity diagram of the boundary line (edge ​​portion) denotes the pure color of color components, the numerical values ​​described in the boundary line shows the wavelength of each color component. Moreover, each coordinate of the internal boundary line indicates a color mixture. In such a chromaticity diagram, by mixing color components shown in the both ends of the straight line (e.g., straight line L) passing through the white region W in the vicinity of the center (for example, a wavelength lambda 1, lambda 2) at a ratio in a predetermined range, white light it can be generated.

6 and 7, the spectral characteristics of the white light white LED emits a graph showing schematically, FIG. 6, as compared with FIG. 7 shows the case where the strong driving current of the white LED . Here, of the blue light blue LED123 emits light, there is an upper limit to the phosphor 124 is capable of absorbing light amount. Therefore, even by changing the intensity of the current, the intensity of the yellow light phosphor 124 is generated does not change much. On the other hand, when strong driving current, generated from the blue LED 123, the intensity of blue light transmitted through without being absorbed by the phosphor 124 is made stronger.

Therefore, by changing the driving current of the white LED (blue LED 123), it can be white LED changes the spectral characteristics of white light emission. Specifically, by strongly driving current, as shown in FIG. 6, white light emission intensity is high spectral characteristics C1 of the blue component of the central wavelength lambda 1 than the yellow component of the central wavelength lambda 2 is emitted that. That is, the intensity ratio of the blue component to the yellow component is greater than 1. On the other hand, by weakening the driving current, as shown in FIG. 7, the intensity ratio of the blue component to the yellow component, the spectral characteristics becomes smaller than that of C1, the blue component and the emission intensity comparable (intensity of the yellow component white light spectral characteristic C2 ratio, for example, about 1) is emitted.

Control of spectral characteristics by adjusting of the driving current is conceptually in the chromaticity diagram shown in FIG. 5, the white LED corresponds to changing on the straight line L and chromaticity of light emitted. Accordingly, the scope of changing the driving current supplied to the white LED (the range corresponding to the spectral characteristics C1, C2) by appropriately setting can mixing ratio of the color components (intensity ratio) to emit different white light. In the case of changing the drive current, in practice, the chromaticity of the white light white LED emits is not always changes linearly in the chromaticity diagram, slightly curve in accordance with the characteristics of the white LED sometimes.

In the first embodiment, is not particularly limited emission wavelength lambda 1 of the blue LED 123, in the case of imaging the in vivo, it is preferable to use an LED that emits blue light absorption wavelength 415nm or near the hemoglobin .

Referring again to FIG. 2, the capsule endoscope 10, a built-in circuit board illumination driving circuit or the like is formed to drive the image pickup driving circuit and the lighting unit 12 drives the imaging unit 11 (not shown) there. Imaging unit 11 and the illumination unit 12, in a state with its field of view to the outside from one end of the capsule endoscope 10 is fixed to the circuit board.

Control unit 13 controls each unit in the capsule endoscope 10, the to execute the imaging operation in the imaging unit 11, A / D conversion and predetermined signal to the imaging signal output from the imaging unit 11 processing performed to acquire the digital image data. Control More specifically, the control unit 13, in one driving period of the imaging unit 11 (imaging period), by changing the magnitude of the drive current of the illumination unit 12, for switching the light emitting states of the illumination portion 12 I do. The switching control of the light emission state, for example, a resistor illumination driving circuit comprises switching by the switch circuit is performed by changing the magnitude of the drive current.

Memory 14, the controller 13 stores execution programs and control programs for executing various operations. Further, memory 14, signal processing in the control unit 13 may temporarily store such picture data subjected.

Transmitter 15 and the antenna 16 transmits the image data stored in the memory 14 to the outside is superimposed on the radio signal with the associated information. Incidentally, the related information includes the assigned identification information (e.g., serial number) or the like to identify the individuals of the capsule endoscope 10.

Power supply unit 17 includes a battery consisting of a button battery or the like, a power supply circuit for boosting such power from the battery, and a power switch for switching on and off state of the power supply unit 17, after the power switch is turned on, the capsule supplying power to each part of the endoscope 10 type. Incidentally, the power switch, for example, a reed switch on and off are switched by the external magnetic force, before use of the capsule endoscope 10 (before the subject 2 swallows), from the outside to the capsule endoscope 10 It is switched to the oN state by applying a magnetic force.

The capsule endoscope 10 is, after being swallowed into the subject 2, while moving the digestive tract of the subject 2 by a peristaltic movement or the like of the organs, body parts (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, etc.) It is sequentially captured at a predetermined period (e.g., 0.5 second interval). Then, sequentially and wirelessly transmits the image data and associated information acquired by the imaging operation to the receiver 20.

Receiver 20 includes a reception unit 21, a signal processing unit 22, a memory 23, a data transceiver 24, a display unit 25, an operation unit 26, a control unit 27 which controls these units, the respective units and a power supply unit 28 supplies power to.

Receiving unit 21, the image data and related information wirelessly transmitted from the capsule endoscope 10 is received via the receiving antenna unit 3 having receiving antennas 3a ~ 3h of (eight in FIG. 1) more. Each receive antenna 3a ~ 3h, for example, is realized by using a loop antenna or a dipole antenna, are arranged at a predetermined position on the subject 2 outside surfaces.

The signal processing unit 22 performs predetermined signal processing on the image data receiving unit 21 has received.
Memory 23 stores image data and related information signal processing has been performed in the signal processing section 22.

Data transceiver unit 24, USB, or a wired LAN, a communication line can be connected to interfaces such as a wireless LAN. Data transceiver 24 transmits when it is connected to and can communicate with the image processing apparatus 30, the image data and related information stored in the memory 23 to the image processing apparatus 30.

Display unit 25 displays the in-vivo image or the like based on image data received from the capsule endoscope 10.

Operation unit 26 is an input device used when the user inputs various setting information and instruction information to the receiving apparatus 20.

Such receiver 20, while the imaging is performed by the capsule endoscope 10 (e.g., after the capsule endoscope 10 is swallowed into the subject 2, and is discharged through the digestive tract until), are mobile is attached to the subject 2. Receiver 20, during this time, the image data received via the receiving antenna unit 3, related information further adds, these image data and related information such as the reception intensity information and the reception time information in the receiving antennas 3a ~ 3h a is stored in the memory 23.

After completion of imaging by the capsule endoscope 10, the receiving apparatus 20 is removed from the subject 2 is set in the cradle 20a which is connected to the image processing apparatus 30. Thus, the receiving apparatus 20 is connected to and can communicate with the image processing apparatus 30 transfers the image data and related information stored in the memory 23 to the image processing apparatus 30 (download).

The image processing apparatus 30 is composed of, for example, using a workstation with a CRT display or a display device 30a such as a liquid crystal display. The image processing apparatus 30 includes an input unit 31, a data transmitting and receiving unit 32, a storage unit 33, an image processing unit 34, an output unit 35, a control unit 36 ​​which generally controls these units.

The input unit 31 is, for example, a keyboard, a mouse, a touch panel, is realized by an input device such as various switches. The input unit 31 receives an input of information and instructions in accordance with a user operation.

Data transmitting and receiving unit 32, USB, or a communication line can be connected to interfaces such as a wired LAN or a wireless LAN, it includes a USB port and LAN port. In the first embodiment, the data transceiver unit 32 is connected to the receiver 20 via the cradle 20a which is connected to a USB port to transmit and receive data to and from the receiving device 20.

Storage unit 33, a flash memory, RAM, or a semiconductor memory such as a ROM, HDD, MO, CD-R, is achieved by a drive device for driving the recording medium and the recording medium such as a DVD-R. Storage unit 33 stores a program for an image processing apparatus 30 is operated to perform various functions, various information used during execution of the program, as well, the image data and related information acquired through the receiving apparatus 20 and stores and the like.

The image processing unit 34 is realized by hardware such as a CPU, by reading a predetermined program stored in the storage unit 33, a predetermined order to create an in-vivo image corresponding to the image data stored in the storage unit 33 It performs image processing. More specifically, the image processing unit 34, the image data is subjected demosaicing, density conversion (gamma conversion, etc.), a predetermined image processing such as smoothing (noise removal, etc.), sharpening (edge ​​enhancement, etc.) , to create the R data, G data, image for each color component using the respective B data (spectral image) and an image of a color using all of the image data. The image processing unit 34 also performs processing for creating a combined image using the spectral image and a color image created.

The output unit 35, various images and other information the image processing unit 34 creates and displays and outputs to an external device such as a display device 30a.

Control unit 36 ​​is realized by hardware such as a CPU, by reading various programs stored in the storage unit 33, the signal and inputted through the input unit 31, image data input from the data transceiver 32 based on the equal performs instruction and data transfer, such as to each unit constituting the image processing apparatus 30 performs overall control of the image processing apparatus 30 overall operation.

Next, the operation of the capsule endoscope system 1. Figure 8 is a diagram for explaining the control operation by the control unit 13 of the capsule endoscope 10.

When the power unit 17 of the capsule endoscope 10 is switched to the on state, the control unit 13, with respect to the imaging unit 11 to execute the imaging operation at a preset imaging cycle (T 1 + T 2). The control unit 13 is synchronized with the imaging operation, with respect to the illumination unit 12, by changing the drive current during the imaging period T 1, it emits light at two different spectral characteristics from each other. That is, after the start of the imaging period T 1, by driving the illuminating unit 12 in the driving current I 1, the light (hereinafter having strong spectral characteristic C1 is a blue component (see FIG. 6) to the yellow component, the illumination light both the term), a predetermined light emission period t 1, to illuminate the subject in 2 (first light-emitting state).

Subsequently, the control unit 13, after the light emitting period t 1, by driving the illuminating unit 12 in the driving current I 2 (I 2 <I 1 ), the spectral intensity of the yellow component and the blue component of comparable properties C2 with light (as above) with (see Fig. 7), a predetermined light emission period t 2 (t 1 + t 2 = T 1), to illuminate the subject in 2 (second light-emitting state).

From this, during the light emission period t 1, each pixel of the imaging device by the imaging unit 11 is provided receives the reflected light from the subject 2 of the illumination light having a spectral characteristic C1, red (R), green (G) accumulates the blue imaging information of each color component of (B) (charge). Further, during the subsequent light emission period t 2, each pixel of the image sensor receives the reflected light from the subject 2 of the illumination light having a spectral characteristic C2, likewise stores the imaging information. Imaging unit 11, for each imaging period T 1, reads the stored imaging information, the image data corresponding to each color component (R data, G data, B data) to the. The outputted image data is stored in the memory 14.

9A and 9B are schematic diagrams showing the data level of the image data by the imaging unit 11 is output every imaging period T 1. Of these, FIG. 9A shows a case where the spectral characteristics obtained by changing the spectral characteristic C2 from the spectral characteristics C1 during the imaging period T 1. On the other hand, FIG. 9B, a case where the spectral characteristics in the imaging period T 1 was kept constant at spectral characteristics C2, are shown for comparison.

As shown in FIG. 9B, including the case did not change the spectral characteristics C2 during the imaging period T 1, the wavelength lambda short wavelength side of the color component that comprises one (hereinafter, referred to as the short-wavelength side component) and the wavelength lambda 2 the long wavelength side of the color components (hereinafter, referred to as the long-wavelength side component) emission intensity of the subject 2 is illuminated with the same degree of light. Here, as described above, it tends to be absorbed absorption wavelength 415nm and shorter wavelength side component in the vicinity of hemoglobin in the subject 2. Therefore, in the light reflected from the subject 2, the intensity of the shorter wavelength side component in comparison with the long wavelength side component is greatly attenuated. As a result, in the image data output from the imaging unit 11 every imaging period T 1, for R data corresponding to the long wavelength side component, the level of B data corresponding to the short wavelength side component is very low and will.

In contrast, as shown in FIG. 9A, when changing the spectral characteristic between the imaging period T 1, first, during the light emission period t 1, the emission intensity of the shorter wavelength side component is resistant to long-wavelength side component subject 2 is illuminated by light. Therefore, even if the short-wavelength side component in the intra-subject 2 is absorbed, the reflected light from the subject 2 shorter wavelength side component remains sufficiently. Further, during the subsequent light emission period t 2, the emission intensity of the short wavelength side component and the long-wavelength side component subject 2 is illuminated with the same degree of light. Therefore, in the reflected light, but rather than the light emission period t 1 is short intensity of the long wavelength side component in the opposite becomes relatively stronger than the light emission period t 1. After all, the whole in imaging period T 1, can be compared with the case of FIG. 9B, to improve the level of B data in the image data output from the imaging unit 11.

Here, specific numerical values of the drive currents I 1, I 2 is and characteristics of the blue LED123 and the phosphor 124 constituting a white LED, varies depending on the level of B data to be improved in the image data, as an example, the drive current or when the drive current I 1 to about 3 times the I 2. Specifically, the driving current of the white LED normally used in a general capsule endoscope be a 5 mA, the driving current I 2 as a normal approximately 5 mA, the driving current I 1 to about 15 mA.

As for the light emitting period t 1, t 2, t 1> if t 2 specific allocation is not particularly limited, the driving current I 1, the and ratio I 2, the level of B data to be improved in the image data it may be set in accordance with the. For example, the ratio of the driving current I 1: I 2 = 3: when 1, the distribution of light emission period t 1: t 2 = 3: may be approximately 1. Thus, by lengthening the time to strongly attenuate easily short wavelength side component, for example at the data level ratio, as shown in FIG. 9A, it is possible to obtain data of each color component.

The image data which has been acquired is wirelessly transmitted from the transmitter 15, it is taken into the image processing apparatus 30 via the receiver 20. The image processing section 34 performs predetermined image processing on the image data taken, to create a spectral image composed of color components of red (R), green (G), and blue (B). Further, the image processing unit 34, by adding the pixel values ​​of corresponding pixels between these spectral images (or weighted sum), to create R, G, in-vivo images of colors consisting of B color components it may be.

In the first embodiment, with respect to the case where the driving current for the lighting unit 12 at a constant color temperature of light illuminating the subject 2 is changed. Therefore, the image data may be subjected to image processing to reduce the effects of changes in the color temperature and white balance processing.

As described above, according to the first embodiment, since changing the spectral characteristics of the white LED in one imaging period, the level of B data corresponding to the wavelength components of the absorbed easily short wavelength side to the living it is possible to acquire the image data that has been improved over the prior art. Therefore, by using such image data, (high brightness) Bright consisting B data can be created spectral image. Further, by combining the spectral image of such spectral image and other color components, it is also possible to create a color image the fine structure of the surface layer structure appears in the object 2.

In the first embodiment, but sequentially to generate one of two light emission characteristics are different from each other during the imaging period of the light emission characteristics may be sequentially generate different three or more kinds of light from each other .

(Embodiment 2)
It will now be described a second embodiment of the present invention.
The capsule endoscope and configuration of a capsule endoscope system according to the second embodiment is the same as in the first embodiment, definitive when the capsule endoscope 10 shown in FIG. 2 is imaging the subject in 2 control operation of the control unit 13 is different from the first embodiment.

Figure 10 is a diagram for explaining the control operation by the control unit 13 executes in the second embodiment. Further, FIGS. 11A and 11B are schematic diagrams showing the data level of the image data to be output each time the imaging unit 11 is performed once imaging.

When the power unit 17 of the capsule endoscope 10 is switched to the on state, the control unit 13, with respect to the imaging unit 11, a series of imaging operations that the imaging twice in image capturing interval T 4 (T 4 <T 3 ) and it is executed in every cycle T 3. Although specific numerical values of the period T 3 is not particularly limited, it may be set to the one frame in a general capsule endoscope time (e.g. 500 ms). Further, it is preferable but not limited particularly also specific numerical values of the imaging interval T 4, is set to, for example, about 1/8 ~ 1/15 of the period T 3 (for example, about 30ms ~ 60ms).

The control unit 13, the imaging operation and synchronized with respect to the illumination unit 12, a series of light emitting operation of sequentially generating light having different two kinds of spectral characteristics from each other by the imaging interval T 4, the period T 3 in to be executed. That is, in the first imaging in the period T 3, the control unit 13, the driving current by driving the illuminating unit 12 at I 1, the spectral characteristics C1 predetermined emission with light having a (see FIG. 6) period t 3 to illuminate the subject 2. Further, subsequent in the second imaging control section 13, by driving the illuminating unit 12 in the driving current I 2 (I 2 <I 1 ), a predetermined light emission with light having a spectral characteristic C2 (see FIG. 7) period t 4, to illuminate the subject 2. Note that the t 4 = t 3 in FIG. 10.

Than this, the imaging unit 11, in the first imaging in the period T 3, for receiving light reflected from the subject 2 short wavelength side component of the intense light than longer wavelength side component. Therefore, in the reflected light, despite the absorption inside the subject 2, the intensity of the short wavelength side component of the absorption wavelength and the vicinity thereof of hemoglobin it is also sufficiently left. Therefore, in the image data output from the imaging unit 11, as shown in FIG. 11A, the data level of the B data than R data is relatively high.

The imaging unit 11, in the second imaging in period T 3, the intensity of the short wavelength side component and the long-wavelength side component for receiving light reflected from the subject 2 of the same degree of light. In reflected light, the absorption in the body-2, the strength of the short-wavelength side component is greatly attenuated. Therefore, in the image data output from the imaging unit 11, as shown in FIG. 11B, as compared to the R data, the data level of the B data is very low.

The image data which has been acquired is wirelessly transmitted from the transmitter 15, it is taken into the image processing apparatus 30 via the receiver 20. The transmission unit 15 may transmit the image data each time performed once imaging may be collectively transmitted image data obtained by two times of imaging in one period T 3.

The image processing section 34 performs predetermined image processing on the image data captured, the first captured image based on image data obtained by the (spectral characteristic C1) (hereinafter, referred to as blue white image), 2 times th captured image based on image data obtained by the (spectral characteristic C2) (hereinafter, simply referred to as white images) to create a. Incidentally, in this case, in order to reduce the influence of change of the color temperature in the light irradiated to the subject 2, may be subjected to white balance processing, and the like.

Subsequently, the image processing unit 34, for each of the blue white image and a white image is created pixel values ​​of the pixels in the image histogram of (luminance value). In this case, preferably (emission intensity of the light in each time, the light emission time, etc.) first and second imaging condition considering, normalizing the luminance value of the blue white image and a white image. Then, the image processing unit 34, based on each histogram, the pixel values ​​of pixels that are saturated in the white image by replacing a pixel value of the corresponding pixel in the blue white image, to create a composite image.

Since short imaging interval T 4 is respectively obtained blue white image and a white image by the imaging twice in one period T 3, considered to be reflected is substantially the same region in the subject 2 be able to. Further, blue white image captured shorter wavelength side component by a strong light, since it is difficult to saturate as compared to white image, be an area that is saturated in the white image, the saturation in blue white image there is a high possibility that do not. Therefore, by executing the above-described image processing, suitably gradation extension is made, it can be and obtain a combined image without blurring. Further, blue white image is because it reflects well the fine structure of the surface layer structure in the subject 2, also an advantage that more detailed information of the pixel region was replaced pixel values ​​are obtained.

The pixel area for replacement pixel value, the user, while viewing a white image displayed on the display device 30a, may be selected as appropriate.

In addition, the image processing unit 34 uses B-data acquired under light having a spectral characteristic C1, as well, are obtained under light with a spectral characteristic C2 the G data and R data, respectively, spectral image it may be created. In this case, based on the G data, it is possible to obtain a spectral image of sufficiently bright blue component. Alternatively, by adding the pixel values ​​of pixels corresponding in blue white image and a white image (or weighted sum) may create a composite image. In this case, it is possible to level the B data to obtain a color image with improved than ever.

In the second embodiment, a case has been described for imaging of twice per one cycle T 3, the imaging count per one period T 3 may be three or more. In this case, depending on the number of times of imaging, spectral characteristics (i.e., the drive current of the illumination unit 12) may be allowed to change to three or more.

(Modification 1)
Figure 12 is a diagram for explaining the control operation by the control unit 13 of the capsule endoscope 10 in the modified example 1. In the second embodiment, when performing imaging twice in one period T 3, but the spectral characteristics caused the two different types of light, generated when performing imaging twice light and spectral characteristics of the same amount of light emission (= intensity × emission time of light) may be changed. For example, as shown in FIG. 12, the constant driving current in the first and second times (e.g., I 2), first light emitting period (i.e. exposure time) than t 3, the second light emission period t 4 shorten. Thus, between the imaging twice, (in other words, the amount of light reflected from the subject 2) the amount of light that illuminates the subject 2 to change. As a result, in one period T 3, it is possible to gradation obtain two images different from each other. A histogram of the pixel values ​​for these images, the pixel values ​​of pixels that are saturated in one image by replacing a pixel value of a corresponding pixel of the other image, suitably gradation expansion is performed composite image can be obtained.

(Modification 2)
In the first modification, between the two imaging within one period T 3, when changing the amount of light that illuminates the subject 2, and the light emission period constant even by changing the intensity of light good. In this case, the drive current of the illumination unit 12, the spectral characteristics of the generated light may be varied within a range not significantly changed.

Above-described present invention is not limited to the embodiments 1 and 2 and the modifications 1 and 2 of the embodiment, by combining a plurality of constituent elements disclosed in embodiments and modifications of the embodiments as appropriate, various invention can be formed of. For example, it may be formed by excluding some of the components shown in the embodiments and modifications of the embodiments, it is formed by appropriately combining the components shown in the form or modification of the different embodiments and it may be.

1 capsule endoscope system 2 subject 3 receiving antenna units 3a ~ 3h receiving antenna 10 capsule endoscope 11 imaging unit 12 illumination unit 13 control unit 14 memory 15 transmission unit 16 antenna 17 power supply unit 20 receiving device 20a cradle 21 receiver 22 signal processor 23 memory 24 data transceiver 25 display unit 26 operating unit 27 control unit 28 power supply unit 30 an image processing apparatus 30a display device 31 input unit 32 the data transmitting and receiving unit 33 storage unit 34 an image processing unit 35 output unit 36 ​​control part 121 substrate 122 cavity 123 blue LED
124 phosphor 125 transparent resin

Claims (18)

  1. A light emitting element for generating light containing a first wavelength component by current flow, includes a different second wavelength component from said first wavelength component by absorbing light including the first wavelength component and a phosphor which generates light, and capable of emitting illumination means the illumination light including the first and second wavelength components,
    Imaging means for the illumination means by imaging the illuminated object in the specimen by the illumination light generated, acquires image data,
    In synchronization with the imaging operation of the imaging unit, by changing the magnitude of the current applied to the illuminating means, and control means for performing control to switch the spectral characteristics of the illumination light the illuminating means is generated,
    A capsule endoscope, characterized in that it comprises a.
  2. Wherein, during a single exposure period of the still image capturing, the capsule endoscope according to claim 1, characterized in that switching the spectral characteristics of the illumination light the illuminating means is generated.
  3. Wherein, when the imaging operation by the imaging unit is started, after the light having a first spectral characteristic by a predetermined period emitting light having a different second spectral characteristic from the first spectral characteristics the capsule endoscope according to claim 2, characterized in that the predetermined period emission.
  4. Said first spectral characteristics and the second spectral characteristic, and wherein the intensity ratio of the first wavelength component and said second wavelength component included in the illumination light the illumination means generates different the capsule endoscope according to claim 3.
  5. Central wavelength of the first wavelength component is shorter than the center wavelength of the second wavelength component,
    In the first spectral characteristic, the intensity ratio of the first wavelength component with respect to the second wavelength component is greater than 1,
    In the second spectral characteristic, wherein the intensity ratio of the first wavelength component to the second wavelength component, capsule according to claim 4, characterized in that less than the intensity ratio in the first spectral characteristics type endoscope.
  6. The emission period of light having a first spectral characteristic, the capsule endoscope according to claim 5, wherein longer than the emission period of light of said second spectral characteristics.
  7. Wherein the first wavelength component, the capsule endoscope according to any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that any one of 400 nm ~ 470 nm.
  8. A capsule endoscope according to any one of claims 1 to 7,
    And an image processing apparatus for processing image data to which the capsule endoscope is acquired,
    A capsule endoscope system comprising: a.
  9. The imaging unit obtains red, green, image data of each color component of blue,
    The image processing apparatus, based on said image data, the capsule endoscope system according to claim 8, wherein the creating a spectral image of each color component.
  10. A light emitting element for generating light containing a first wavelength component by current flow, includes a different second wavelength component from said first wavelength component by absorbing light including the first wavelength component and a phosphor which generates light, and capable of emitting illumination means the illumination light including the first and second wavelength components,
    Imaging means for the illumination means by imaging the illuminated object in the specimen by the illumination light generated, acquires image data,
    In synchronization with the imaging operation of the imaging unit, by changing the magnitude of the current applied to the illuminating means, and control means for performing control to switch the spectral characteristics of the illumination light the illuminating means is generated,
    Equipped with a,
    It said control means to said imaging means, at a predetermined imaging intervals, a series of imaging operations performed each imaging a plurality of times under the illumination light different kinds spectral characteristics from each other, is repeatedly executed in a predetermined cycle a capsule endoscope, characterized in that.
  11. The plurality of types of illumination light, claims, characterized in that the intensity ratio of the first wavelength component and said second wavelength component the illumination means is included in the illumination light generated is different from the illumination light from each other the capsule endoscope according to 10.
  12. Central wavelength of the first wavelength component is shorter than the center wavelength of the second wavelength component,
    It said control means to said imaging means, and the first imaging under illumination light intensity ratio of the first wavelength component with respect to the second wavelength component has a greater than one first spectral characteristics and a second round of image pickup under illumination light intensity ratio of the first wavelength component with respect to the second wavelength component having the intensity ratio is smaller than the second spectral characteristic in the first spectral characteristics , the capsule endoscope according to claim 11, characterized in that to execute in the imaging interval.
  13. Wherein the first exposure time in the imaging of the capsule endoscope according to claim 12, wherein the longer than the exposure time in the second time imaging.
  14. Wherein the first wavelength component, the capsule endoscope according to any one of claims 10 to 13, characterized in that any one of 400 nm ~ 470 nm.
  15. A capsule endoscope according to any one of claims 10-14,
    And an image processing apparatus for processing image data to which the capsule endoscope is acquired,
    A capsule endoscope system comprising: a.
  16. The image processing apparatus based on the image data acquired respectively by the image of the plurality of times, to create a plurality of images, respectively, the composite image by adding pixel values ​​of corresponding pixels between the plurality of images the capsule endoscope system according to claim 15, wherein the creating.
  17. The image processing apparatus based on the image data acquired respectively by the image of the plurality of times, to create a plurality of images, respectively, the pixel value of pixels that are saturated in the one image of the plurality of images the capsule endoscope system according to claim 15, characterized in that to create a composite image by replacing a pixel value of the corresponding pixel in the other image of the plurality of images.
  18. The imaging unit obtains red, green, image data of each color component of blue,
    The image processing apparatus, based on said plurality of times image data acquired respectively by the imaging of the capsule endoscope system according to claim 15, wherein the creating a spectral image of each color component.


PCT/JP2014/079757 2013-11-14 2014-11-10 Capsule endoscope and capsule endoscope system WO2015072432A1 (en)

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