How many times have you finished smashing down a particularly spicy feed and thought to yourself, “Damn, I really wish I could track and analyse my gas levels in real time”?
Well, if you’re anything like me the answer is an unhealthy amount. But thanks to a team of Australian researchers, it looks like we’ll soon be able to find out exactly how badly that spicy burrito from last night fucked us up.
The researchers, led by Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh of RMIT University and Peter Gibson of Monash University developed a digestible electronic capsule that can monitor gas levels in the human gut when paired with a receiver and a mobile phone app.
There are hopes that the pill could help to elucidate the inner workings of our stomach, as previous observations consisted of invasive wires and monitoring, whereas a pill is a much easier solution.
“Our pilot trial illustrated the significant potential role for electronic-based gas-sensing capsules in understanding functional aspects of the intestine and its microbiota in health and in response to dietary changes,” researchers noted.
The pill itself actually looks a lot like a large vitamin, with one end of the capsule containing a gas-permeable membrane that allows for fast diffusion of gut gases.
Mechanical engineer Benjamin Terry of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reckons that the capsules “have remarkable potential to help us understand the functional aspects of the gut microbiome, its response to dietary changes, and its impact on health.”
Keep an eye out, it might not be long before a routine visit to the docs ends up in you scoffing a cap to see what’s up.
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