Scientists have developed an electronic pill that could monitor and gauge gases in the human gut and other types of gases in the human’s intestines including hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen gases. The development of the pill could help doctors diagnose the many disorders in the gut from food nutrient malabsorption to colon cancer, according to researchers.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Nature Electronics. The study was led by Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh of RMIT University in Australia, Peter Gibson of Monash University, and other colleagues.
The pill is about the size of a vitamin capsule. It comprises of gas-permeable membrane, gas and temperature sensors, a microcontroller, batteries, antennas, and a wireless transmitter. It could stay in the body for a number of days and will pass from the stomach to the colon. Then, will provide information on what is happening in the human’s digestive tract, according to CNet.
The pill had its first trial and displayed fascinating results and information. Kalantar-Zadeh said that they discovered that the stomach releases oxidizing chemicals to break down and beat foreign compounds that stay in the stomach for a longer period than usual. He further said that this could represent the first-ever observations of a “gastric protection system against foreign bodies.”
— Riot Fest (@RiotFest) January 9, 2018
The study was participated by a number of people who had low and high-fiber diets. They were given the pills. The results showed that the pill identified accurately the onset of food fermentation. And those who had high fiber diets had elevated oxygen levels in the colon and abdominal pain. They also found bacteria in their feces that are associated with unhealthy digestion.
"At roughly an inch long and half an inch wide, the electronic pill looks something like the biggest multivitamin a human could reasonably swallow." https://t.co/JtHCMl0EpH
— Giant (@Giant_Agency) January 9, 2018
Meanwhile, for those who had low-fiber diets, the pill stayed in the body for more than three days to figure out what’s happening inside. The team found that their hydrogen gas levels in the colon had plunged. This means they had a reduced fermentation. However, they were given a fiber treatment afterward to recover the fermentation, according to Ars Technica.
Currently, the study is still in progress. However, the researchers are planning to commercialize their development that could help professionals in understanding the gut microbiome to have a better impact on human’s health.