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Low cost video endoscopes with simplified integration

: Wippermann, F.; Beckert, E.; Dannberg, P.; Eberhardt, R.; Bräuer, A.; Messerschmidt, B.


Thienpont, H. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Micro-Optics 2010 : 12.-16.4.2010, Brussels, Belgium
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2010 (Proceedings of SPIE 7716)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-8189-4
Paper 77160M
Conferecne "Micro-Optics" <2010, Brussels>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IOF ()
video endoscope; micro-optics; GRIN lens; ultra precision diamond turning

The availability of miniature imagers enables endoscopic systems with simplified integration. Here, the optical elements together with the imager are located at the distal end of these so called video endoscopes. The overall system can be flexible since no relaying optics is required in order to image the object at a remote position. Compared to conventional flexible systems based on light guiding fiber bundles, higher spatial resolutions can be achieved due to the ever decreasing pixel size in CMOS imager fabrication technology.
We propose system designs and prototypes for f/4, 3mm outer diameter endoscopes with 70° and 110° field of view using a CMOS imager with 650x650 pixels of 2.8µm pitch. The systems are based on a simplified and rugged integration using a single polymer lens made by injection molding, a GRIN lens and a dispensed lens made of UV curing material allowing for high performance paired with low fabrication cost allowing for the usage as a disposable unit. Additionally, a side view system angled at 30° is presented based on a tilting reflection prism requiring minimum construction space allowing for an outer diameter of 3mm.