3D Printed Lens for Imaging in Falloposcope

Case ID:

This project proposes three improvements to a falloposcope under development. This falloposcope was designed with optical elements selected for detection of early stage ovarian cancer in fallopian tube epithelium. The data collected by the falloposcope is grounded in a growing body of medical research.

Falloposcopes were used in the 1990s to treat infertility through cannulation of tubal occlusions. However, use waned because devices were fragile and required greater training to use. Plus, IVF was gaining popularity and generally the preferred method for treating infertility. Pregnancy rates from IVF and falloposcopic tuboplasty (FT) were similar though, and better quality images might improve the diagnosis of tubal patency (health of lumen and mucosa) which is a factor for understanding infertility.


Although rare, ovarian cancer is often deadly because it is detected late. Pelvic ultrasounds and the CA-125 blood test are generally accurate for detecting late stage III-IV ovarian cancer, but the survival rates are less than 30%, compared with > 90% survival rates for cancer detected in early stages, I-II. Therefore, there is strong interest in developing better early detection screening procedures, particularly for high risk women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation. A reliable early detection procedure would provide an option other than removal of all reproductive organs after 40 for high risk women.

Research includes examining early stage lesions on the surface of ovaries and fallopian tube epithelium. Access to the fallopian tubes through the cervix is an attraction option because it does not involve surgery; instead, falloposcopic examination can be done in a clinic with mild sedation. However, to be effective, a falloposcope must be small enough to pass through the narrow 1mm opening from the uterus to the proximal portion of the fallopian tube but it must have sufficient resolution and field of view to image the 4cm wide fimbral portion of the tube approximately 10cm away.



  • Falloposcopic tuboplasty
  • Detection of early stage ovarian cancer



  • Small diameter
  • Sophisticated optics
  • Able to collect variety of data
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Jennifer Barton
Kelli Kiekens
David Vega