The human intestine produces a variety of gases during the process of digestion. The composition and concentration of those gases can serve as a reliable indicator of many diseases (e.g. ulcerative colitis or chronic inflammation). Now, researchers are suggesting a way to perform the analysis accurately and with no pain.
Together, specialists from the Royal Melbourne University of Technology and the Atmo Biosciences company developed a device that can effectively measure the composition of intestinal gases. The device itself is a sensor mounted in a pill-like capsule that is designed for swallowing.
Once in the intestine, the device proceeds to measure the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. The data is transmitted to the physician’s smartphone via Bluetooth in real time.
As for today, the composition of intestinal gases is studied with breathing analysis or through insertion of a special tube into the intestinal wall. The ‘Atmo’ capsules compare favorably with traditional methods. They are non-invasive and provide 3000 times more accurate results than breathing analysis.
Early tests proved that the device is efficient and is completely safe. By 2022, after clinical trials are performed, it should enter the market. According to the researchers, in the future they will be able to expand the list of compounds that ‘Atmo’ analyzes. For example, it will be possible to embed a short-chain fatty acid sensor in the capsules, which will allow studying the work of symbiotic bacteria.
Wearable and swallowed diagnostic devices have become a new trend in modern medicine. Working in an ensemble with smartphones and computers they make a diagnostic process much easier and accessible even for non-medical general public or in places with limited access to medical services. This can improve the early recognition of many diseases and significantly decrease mortality rates. We shall follow the most interesting brand-new devices and keep you informed, so be sure to check the news section regularly.