Scientists at MIT have developed a flexible sensor that patients can swallow. The sensor sticks to the stomach wall and can relay information about stomach peristalsis. This could help doctors to diagnose disorders that slow down the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, or monitor food intake in obese patients.
The research team wanted a minimally invasive solution for monitoring stomach movements. To achieve this, they created a flexible device for increased safety. Because of the sensor’s flexibility, it can be rolled up and squeezed into a small capsule, which patients can swallow easily. The capsule breaks down in the stomach and the sensor adheres to the stomach wall soon after it is liberated.
“Having flexibility has the potential to impart significantly improved safety, simply because it makes it easier to transit through the GI tract,” says Giovanni Traverso.