Curiosity Fueled by a Candle: Cystoscopes Allow Physicians
to Peer Beyond and Within
The ability to probe the body's inner geography has been a boon to the world of medicine. Thanks to endoscopic techniques, urologists have illuminated non-invasive access to our most intimate crevices to diagnose or treat disease. Yet centuries ago, men of medicine could only dream of such routine visualizations, even as they pioneered the "cystoscope," the blueprint for all other endoscopes.
Many inventors and instrument makers would collaborate to turn the primitive prototype proposed in 1805 by Germany's Philip Bozzini into the sophisticated fiber-optic systems used today in almost every surgical specialty and even the industry. Though ridiculed by the medical faculty of the University in Vienna, both Bozzini and his "Lichtleiter" would light the way for physicians seeking insight into the cavities of the human body.
Inspired by Bozzini's instrument and led by such visionaries as Antonin Jean Desormeaux, Francis Richard Cruise and Joseph Grünfeld, German physician