Glass Industry News

SCHOTT Advances Single-Use Endoscopes with Cost-Effective High-Performance Illumination

, Schott AG

With its SCHOTT® SingleEZ product family, the fiber optic lighting specialist introduces a smart and cost-effective solution for manufacturers of single-use endoscopes.

It unites the advantages of glass fiber optic illumination with a modular plug-and-play concept, making the solution accessible to medical device makers without fiber handling know-how. The product family consists of a light guide, a light guide/camera combination and a full package including the light source. SCHOTT will launch the SingleEZ product family at Photonics West in San Francisco, February 4-6 (Booth #841), underpinning its recent entrance into the single-use endoscope market.

Providing a high-quality and realistic view into the body requires good lighting, which can be challenging to accomplish with the large manufacturing volumes required for single-use endoscopes. “Our solution makes it possible, for the first time, to easily integrate high-quality glass fiber optic illumination into instruments as a plug-and-play component,” says Holger Werner, Business Development Manager Medical at SCHOTT Lighting & Imaging.

Tony Cappabianca, Business Development Principal at SCHOTT North America Lighting & Imaging, adds: “What is more, SCHOTT’s ability to leverage technology from other high-volume manufacturing markets such as automotive has enabled us to create higher performance glass fiber components that meet the unique demands of the disposables market.”

SCHOTT’s modular product family consists of three members:

SingleEZ Guide®SCHOTT
This plug-and-play light guide allows easy and fast installation into a complete endoscopic system. Thanks to the space-saving integration of flexible glass fibers, the fiber optic bundle delivers the maximum amount of light to the exact spot needed. The new solution also reduces heat transmission, a current challenge for direct LED lighting,thus enabling easier registration with regulatory authorities.

The SingleEZ Guide can be used with any external light source. For example, it could be coupled with a light source containing various LEDs with different wavelengths, which would provide a more complete spectrum of light delivered with high fidelity than would be available from a single LED placed at the end of the instrument. This would provide the doctor a more realistic view of the tissue being imaged by the endoscope.
SCHOTT® SingleEZ Module
The plug-and-play module includes both the SingleEZ light guide and a camera for imaging. In this setup, the fiber optic bundle can be customized to fit several different cameras with various chip sizes. For example, the fiber bundle can be positioned around the camera on two or three sides in a U or kidney shape. These geometries can also be used to avoid camera saturation.
SCHOTT® SingleEZ Source
Also available is the SCHOTT® SingleEZ Light Source that combines the guide or module with a customized light source ideal for endoscopy. SCHOTT collaborates closely with its customers to develop the best solution to suit individual needs.

Advancing single-use endoscope technology
The SingleEZ family of products are based on SCHOTT’s high-performance glass optical fibers – know-how that the company has been acquiring and advancing since 1964. These are the main benefits:
High-quality light creates a better image
The SingleEZ products deliver a 120° light beam angle, which enables shadow-free illumination by exactly matching the imaging angle of the camera. It also improves the color rendering index of the complete endoscope because light from a high-quality light source is accurately brought to the point of action, giving health care practitioners the most true-to-life color for viewing tissue and developing meaningful diagnoses.
Minimum diameter with maximum efficiency
Especially thin endoscopes have very little space for illumination, leading to extremely limited outer diameters for light guides. The SCHOTT® SingleEZ product family offers maximum light output by making the most of available space.
Regulated heat management
SCHOTT’s light guide solves the challenge of heat management in a cost-effective way. By transporting light through passive glass fibers, the heat-generating LED light source is kept away from the tip of the endoscope and the human tissue under investigation. Keeping temperatures below the critical threshold where tissue damage occurs, makes it easier to fulfill medical technology standards and regulatory requirements, enabling faster approvals and shorter time-to-market.
Reduced complexity
The plug-and-play nature of the SCHOTT solution means it comes ready to incorporate into a complete endoscopic system – no handling, grinding or polishing of fibers needed. This allows innovation at a fast pace.


SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass, glass-ceramics and related high-tech materials. With over 130 years of experience, the company is an innovative partner to many industries, including the home appliance, pharma, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT has a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 34 countries. In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the group generated sales of around $2.54 billion with over 16,200 employees.

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