Solidot | Can swallow electronic devices that reveal our gut microbes


According to a study published in Nature Electronics The Swallow-type electronic capsule can detect different gases in the intestines to identify changes in individual diets. The device may be used to help understand the effects of dietary and pharmaceutical supplements and to help create personalised diet programs. Researchers in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a small swallow-type capsule containing a number of gas sensors, a temperature sensor, a microcontroller, a radio frequency transmitter and several batteries. In a small human pilot test, it has been shown that when the device travels through the gut, the sensors can detect oxygen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide and transmit the gas concentration to a pocket receiver that the volunteers carry. The gas concentration data, in particular, reflects the gas produced by microbial communities in the gut during food fermentation, and can therefore be used to differentiate between the high fiber content and the low content of the volunteers in the diet.