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Colonic Disease Investigation by Robotic Hydro-colonoscopy (CoDIR)

Research lead
Professor Anne Neville

Research team
Dr Pete Culmer, Dr Jordan Boyle, Dr Ali Alazmani

Research grant
European Research Council Advanced Grant scheme

Project Overview

This project aims to develop a mobile robotic system for minimally invasive ‘hydro-colonoscopy’ – providing a much needed alternative to conventional colonoscopy.

The project is a large 5-year collaborative project with the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT) at the University of Dundee, funded by the ERC Advanced Grant scheme.


This research involves engineers and clinicians, aiming to deliver an innovative system to help investigate and prevent colonic disease. We will undertake fundamental research on the properties of the colon to enable more effective clinico-pathological studies on common colonic disorders of uncertain aetiology and for early diagnosis of colorectal cancer by providing a cost-effective, efficient and pain-free access to entire colonic lumen. We are proposing basic interdisciplinary bioengineering and biophysical studies leading to the development of robotic hydro-colonoscopy (RHC). This will enable breakthroughs in the delivery of patient care, comfort and diagnosis capability.

A key part of our work at Leeds is the development of novel forms of locomotion for the CoDIR robot which can successfully travel through the challenging environment of the colon while minimising patient discomfort.


The CoDIR project aims to bring about a revolution in colonoscopy, producing a user friendly, non traumatic technology to provide images of higher quality than is currently possible with greatly improved patient comfort, facilitating complete examination of the colon. This would stimulate clinico-pathological research in colonic disease in general and significantly improve screening for colorectal cancer – crucial in identifying cancers at an early stage for better treatment.