This New Swallowable Sensor Can Monitor Your Intestinal Health In Real Time

Khryss | Published 2018-01-21 02:06

It's about time we use fart-detecting pill to keep on top of this very internal issue.

We all know the importance of knowing what's happening in your gut and its resident bacteria. So, scientists at Monash University and RMIT University in Australia developed an ingestible capsule for an easier measurement of different gas concentrations in your gut.

Just about the size of a multivitamin pill (26-millimeter-long), these capsules include different electronic sensors to detect oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide levels. The gases, along with nitrogen and methane, were shown to help in detecting whether something's or not wrong with your digestive system. These can even be used to indicate the state of the gut’s bacteria biome.

“Just as body temperature is an indicator of general health, the concentration of gases produced by the microbiome is an indicator of gut health. More valuable still is an understanding of the gas concentration profile along the entire length of the gut,” Dr Benjamin Terry, an engineer who specializes in medical equipment, said in an accompanying editorial.

“For example, a healthy individual will have different gas concentrations in the stomach, small intestine and colon, and it is currently very difficult to accurately and noninvasively measure gut gas at specific locations.” The pill can even be wirelessly transmitted through a receiver device to a smartphone. This simply means that you can monitor the effect of your diet in real time!

 “Trials showed the presence of high concentrations of oxygen in the colon under an extremely high-fiber diet,” study leader Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh said in a statement. “This contradicts the old belief that the colon is always oxygen free. This new information could help us better understand how debilitating diseases like colon cancer occur.”

“Our ingestible sensors offer a potential diagnostic tool for many disorders of the gut from food nutrient malabsorption to colon cancer. It is good news that a less invasive procedure will now be an option for so many people in the future,” co-inventor Dr Kyle Berean explained.

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