Swallowing this colonoscopy-like bacteria grabber could reveal secrets about your health

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Swallowing this colonoscopy-like bacteria grabber could reveal secrets about your health
Once swallowed, this capsule is designed to gather bacteria all through the intestine. A scientist unscrews the cap to retrieve the pattern after the capsule has left the digestive system. Credit: Purdue University/Mark Simons

Your intestine bacteria could say lots about you, corresponding to why you are diabetic or the way you reply to sure medication.

But scientists can see solely a lot of the to check the function of in your health. What comes out of you is only a small pattern of those bacteria, with out indicating the place they got here from within the digestive system.

Purdue University researchers constructed a strategy to swallow a device that acts like a colonoscopy, besides that as a substitute of trying on the colon with a digital camera, the expertise takes samples of bacteria.

The expertise could additionally transfer all through the entire GI tract, not simply the colon. This tract, along with the colon, consists of the mouth, esophagus, abdomen, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small gut and rectum.

Essentially, this device would make it doable to conduct a “gut-oscopy.” A video exhibiting how it could work is on YouTube.

“It’s all about being able to take samples of bacteria anywhere in the gut. That was impossible before,” mentioned Rahim Rahimi, a Purdue assistant professor of supplies engineering.

The device is a drug-like capsule that passively weasels via the intestine without having a battery. A tablet model of a colonoscopy is already commercially out there to view areas of the colon {that a} conventional colonoscopy cannot see, however neither device can pattern bacteria.

“If a colonoscopy or camera pill sees blood, it can’t sample that area to investigate further. You could just sample bacteria from a person’s fecal matter, but bacteria can vary a lot throughout the GI tract. Our approach could be complementary,” Rahimi mentioned.

The bacteria-sampling capsule additionally could be lots cheaper, every costing solely about a greenback, he estimates.

Rahimi’s group is engaged on testing this capsule in pigs, which have the same GI tract to people. An preliminary demonstration of the prototype is printed in RSC Advances, a journal by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The researchers 3-D-printed the capsule out of resin, the identical materials utilized in dental molds and implants. This materials would have to be barely modified for people to ingest, however is in any other case unhazardous, Rahimi mentioned.

When uncovered to the pH of a sure intestine location, the capsule’s biodegradable cap dissolves. Inside the capsule, a hydrogel much like these utilized in diapers expands and collects intestinal fluid containing bacteria. Pressure closes shut the capsule’s aperture when the sampling is full, sort of like a plunger.

The researchers have examined the prototype capsule in a tradition resolution designed to simulate the intestine bacterial flora of a GI tract. They additionally examined the capsule’s capacity to guard the sampled bacteria in several excessive environments. Their experiments to this point present that the capsule could efficiently pattern bacteria frequent within the intestine, corresponding to E. coli, inside an hour.

In a human, the capsule would proceed to maneuver all through the GI tract with different fecal matter. A scientist could then get better the capsule from a examine participant’s fecal matter, unscrew the , and examine the collected bacteria.

“This approach is providing new opportunities to study what type of bacteria are present in the gut. It would help us figure out how to manipulate these to combat disease,” Rahimi mentioned.

A patent has been filed for this expertise via the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The work is funded by Eli Lilly and Company and Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering. Rahimi’s group is conducting this analysis on the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue’s Discovery Park.


‘Smart capsule’ is potential new drug-delivery vehicle


More info:
Jose Fernando Waimin et al, Smart capsule for non-invasive sampling and finding out of the gastrointestinal microbiome, RSC Advances (2020). DOI: 10.1039/c9ra10986b

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Purdue University

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Swallowing this colonoscopy-like bacteria grabber could reveal secrets about your health (2020, August 12)
retrieved 12 August 2020
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