Ingestible, flexible sensor to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders

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Canan Dagdeviren, Giovanni Traverso, Bob Langer, and MIT and Brigham and Women’s colleagues have built a swallowable, flexible sensor that adheres to the stomach wall or intestinal lining to measure digestive track contractions.  It could be used to help diagnose gastrointestinal disorders or to monitor food intake.

The piezoelectric device generates a current and voltage when mechanically deformed. Elastic polymers allow it to conform to and stretch with skin.

The sensor has only been tested on pigs.  It was able to remain active for 2 days.  If found safe to be used in humans, its flexibility could help avoid the side effects associated with current, rigid ingestible devices. Future versions will include the harvesting of some of the piezoelectric generated energy to power additional sensors and wireless transmitters.  The elimination of a battery would further improve safety.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University, featuring:  Vinod KhoslaJustin SanchezBrian OtisBryan JohnsonZhenan BaoNathan IntratorCarla PughJamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall