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A new gas-sensing capsule aims to help people with gut disorders

Australian company Atmo Biosciences has created the capsule. It is the size of a vitamin pill and, when swallowed, can electronically report data about the human gastrointestinal system by detecting gases in real time from known locations within the gut. This data is then sent to a cloud platform for analysis.

Unlike existing approaches that may be invasive, inaccurate or rely on trial and error, the gas-sensing capsule provides insight into microbiome function, from direct measurement of the gases produced by the microbiota. This is expected to facilitate more targeted treatment, earlier relief of symptoms and reduced healthcare costs for functional gut disorder patients.

The capsule's first clinical application is a diagnostic tool for motility disorders, where food or waste doesn't move properly through the digestive system. The capsule is also in clinical trials for conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease, with a possible future application as a diagnostic tool for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

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Heather Van Vorous
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