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Sensor in stomach monitors gut health when swallowed

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 17 days ago

A recent development in gastrointestinal health technology has introduced a swallowable sensor that can unfurl in the stomach to monitor gut health. This innovative device contains a long, skinny sensor that expands inside the stomach to accurately measure the electrical activity of stomach cells. The sensor could potentially help diagnose gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroparesis and chronic indigestion.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the ingestible "MiGUT" device to monitor the gut's nervous system without invasive surgery. The device consists of a 25-centimeter-long ribbon-like sensor with gold electrodes housed inside a 3D-printed resin capsule. When the capsule comes in contact with gastric fluid, a water-soluble tape dissolves, allowing the sensor to unfurl.

The potential applications of this device are vast, with the possibility of providing treatments for gut illnesses through electrical stimulation via additional electrodes embedded in the sensor. The research team at MIT recently received over $65 million in US government funding to further develop medical therapies delivered by ingestible devices.

The versatility of the MiGUT device has been recognized as a significant advancement in both the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders by experts in the field. Additionally, the device could aid in the study of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's, as changes in gut function can precede other symptoms by up to 10 years.

While the MiGUT device is still in the testing phase and not yet available for widespread use, the potential for non-invasive monitoring and treatment of gastrointestinal conditions represents a promising step forward in the field of healthcare technology.

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