Researchers have developed high-tech gas sensing capsules that can send data from inside the gut direct to a mobile phone, opening new possibilities for diagnosis, treatment and health analysis.
Intestinal gases could potentially be used as key biomarkers for assessing overall health and have been linked to colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
The new technology from RMIT University and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, measures the concentration of selected intestinal gases through a swallowable capsule that has a built-in gas sensor, microprocessor and wireless high-frequency transmitter.
Lead investigator, RMIT's Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, said current non-invasive methods of
measuring intestinal gas were unreliable. "Being able to accurately measure intestinal gases could accelerate our knowledge about how specific gut microorganisms contribute to gastrointestinal disorders and food intake efficiency, enabling the development of new diagnostic techniques and treatments," he said.
He also said that these high-tech capsules could also help people work out precisely how particular
foods affect their guts. "With nearly half of Australia's population complaining of digestive problems in any 12 month period, this technology could be the simple tool we need to methodically tailor our diets to our individual bodies and improve our digestive health," the professor added.