3/31/15 We have blogged in the past about swallowable dissolvable micro devices that target specific areas of the body, do their work and then dissolve; there are also micro sized swallowable devices that send us images of what is going on in our body; now we are going to talk about a swallowable capsule that measures the concentration of intestinal gases and reports these findings to an electronic device, like a smartphone.
Reseachers at Australia’s RMIT and Monash universities are doing just that. Currently these gases are measured using methods like breathing analysis, but they don’t determine where within the digestive tract the gases are present. The capsule these researchers have designed contains a microprocessor, a gas sensor, a battery and wireless hi-frequency transmitter. After the device is swallowed it measures concentrations of gases as it moves through the intestinal tract.
These readings are transmitted to an electronic device for review by a doctor.
Why is this important? It could accelerate our knowledge about how specific gut microorganisms contribute to gastrointestinal disorders and food intake efficiency, enabling the development of new diagnostic techniques and treatments. It could also help us to understand how certain foods affect our guts on an individual basis. A paper about this was recently published in Trends in Biotechnology and in GizMag.