Small bowel endoscopy with existing endoscopes is limited by problems of discomfort and the technical difficulty of advancing far into the small-bowel. Our aim has been to develop and test wireless capsule endoscopy. Wireless endoscopes, in the form of capsules (11 x 33 mm), were constructed by Given Imaging. These were powered by silver oxide batteries and each contained a CMOS imaging chip and miniature processor, white light emitting diodes (LEDs), a short focal length lens, and a miniature transmitter and antenna. Two video frames per second were transmitted, using radio-frequency (approx. 410 MHz), to an array of aerials attached to the body. The array of aerials can also be used to calculate the position of the capsule in the body. The images were stored on a portable recorder carried on a belt and subsequently downloaded for analysis. The batteries allow more than 5 hours of recording, although the capsule generally passes through the whole small bowel in under two hours. Clear video images of the human bowel were recorded from the pylorus to the caecum. Wireless endoscopy, for the first time, allows painless optical imaging of the whole of the small bowel.© (2001) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.