Looking into the Body

Since time immemorial, it has been the physician's desire to view the cavities of the human body in order to observe and understand processes inside the living human being. The capability of creating an instrument to illuminate the human body and investigate its internal regions is an idea that reaches back to antiquity. In ancient times, easily accessible body cavities such as the mouth, vagina and the anus were inspected by means of specula. The necessary light, mainly candlelight or the sun, was reflected with mirrors.

Throughout the history of endoscopy, there have been two major challenges to overcome: the problem of light, and the problem of instrumentation which transports the light into the deeper cavities of the human body.

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