We know that there are all kinds of research taking place around the world. However, we now have a very unique kind of research. Scientists have now made a wind breaking (pun intended) research. This research has been carried out by a group of researchers in Australia. Before getting into the details of this research, we have a question for you.
Have you ever thought about tracking your fart? Well, if you have, then some Australian researchers also think the same as you. These Australian researchers have developed an ingestible electronic capsule. This capsule is used to monitor gas levels in the human gut.
Now the interesting part about this ingestible capsule is that it is an electronic one. This means you can connect it with a pocket-sized receiver and a mobile phone app. Once the capsule is paired, you can get reports such as tail-wind conditions and interestingly, this happens in real time. So if you are about to break wind, you will know it beforehand.
Ingestible electronic pill
This research has been carried out by Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh of RMIT University and Peter Gibson of Monash University. Nature Electronics reported this invention/research on Monday in their report. Now, you would think that this invention has no meaning at all. But you might be wrong as this capsule should give precious information on our gut and its working.
If the capsule’s gas readings turn out as expected then the authors of this research expect to clear the details regarding inner working of our intricate inner organs such as gut. Currently, there is not much research or information available on how our gut develops gases and releases them.
Most useful of the information that the researchers expect is to learn which type of food produces the most amount of gases. This information is very helpful for patients suffering from problems such as gas or acidity.
We do have methods to find out the types of food which produces different gases in our gas. But they involve methods which are extremely cumbersome. Some of those methods involve full-body calorimetry which is much harder and takes a lot of time. In comparison, we can just swallow a pill and get the needed information wirelessly which is much easier.
The researchers also added that:
“Our pilot trial illustrated the significant potential role for electronic-based gas-sensing capsules in understanding functional aspects of the intestine and its microbiota in health and in response to dietary changes,”
Ingestible Pill prototype already being tested
We also know for a fact that the researchers are also in the process of setting up a commercial company. This will help them further develop as well as test the capsules. Thus, we expect this research to be commercially available shortly if everything goes according to plan.
Also, the researchers have already started their testing on animals, namely pigs. For this, they developed a prototype which looks like the image attached above. This pill is just 26mm in length, with a 9.8mm external diameter and it looks similar to a large Vitamin pill. Therefore, you can be disguised if it is a Vitamin pill or an ingestible electronic one. The exterior is properly covered so you are unable to see the modules inside it.
Also, there are sensors around the pill for detecting temperature and gases such as CO2, H2, and O2. This capsule’s one end has a gas-permeable membrane which allows for the fast release of gases produced in the gut.
Apart from pigs, the researchers also reported testing on six healthy people. This research was carried out successfully and the results have also been available. On the first human, researchers tested intestinal trek of the pill using ultrasonic and linked locations. The report states that the pill took 20 hours to travel from one end to the other. You can expect a similar time for any other pill to travel as well. There we have our first useful information out of this research.
Ingestible Pill Research findings
Moving on, the report also states the parts of the body where the pill traveled in 20 hours time. So the ingestible pill spent just 4.5 hours in the stomach and only 2.5 hours in the small intestine. However, the pill took 13 hours from passing through the colon. Useful information regarding the gases was found out by this research.
The report states that CO2 and H2 levels peaked in the early hours of its time while O2 levels dipped throughout the trip which is expected. Now, the research conducted on the second human out of 5 is very interesting. Researchers decided to give 2 pills to the second human. Now, both the pills were not given at the same time. Rather, the first pill was given when the person has a high-fiber diet and the next one when he had a low-fiber diet.
The results out of the second research were interesting as the high-fiber diet caused stomach ache to the human. The pill data showed that there were elevated levels of oxygen which messed up anaerobes and caused stomach ache. Also, the pill took 23 hours to go from one end to another which is 3 hours more than the time recorded earlier.
However, the low-fiber diet gave even more issues. The pill took about 3 days to come out of the body which is way more than 20 or 23 hours. In further testing, four more humans were tested with the pills. Two of them had a high-fiber diet and the other two had a low-fiber diet. It showed similar patterns as we mentioned earlier. This means that if you take a low-fiber diet than the food takes way more time to get out as compared to high-fiber one.
Benjamin Terry, a mechanical engineer from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln applauded this research. Terry, stated that these capsules “have a remarkable potential to help us understand the functional aspects of the gut microbiome, its response to dietary changes, and its impact on health.” He added that “It might not be too long before a routine healthcare visit involves a check of your vital signs and a request to swallow a tiny electronic monitoring device,”