A biopsy is a sample of tissue taken from the body in order to examine it more closely. A doctor should recommend a biopsy when an initial test suggests an area of tissue in the body isn't normal. Biopsies of pulmonary lesions are essential for increasing the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment for respiratory illnesses such as lung cancer.
Currently, manual biopsies are performed via bronchoscopy. However, the bronchi tends to branch thinner and more complicatedly as it goes to the periphery, which makes it a challenge to reliably choose one and fine-tune the propelling movement. Given the skill disparities in operating doctors as well, it is difficult to reliably reach the lesion with the biopsy forceps, resulting in inadequate diagnosis accuracy.
The development of instruments and mechanisms that can reliably reach the target in the lungs is required for adequately testing with an endoscope, but the looming challenge was finding a mechanism to reliably advance the biopsy forceps to the target even inside the ultrafine and widely branching bronchi.
The goal is to increase the accuracy of branches which can be propelled, include a camera to collect information on the inside of the bronchi, develop functions applicable to biopsies and treatment, and put instruments to practical use.