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World-First Ingestible Gas-Sensing Capsule Could Revolutionize Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Apr 2023
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Image: The Atmo Gas Capsule is a world-first solution to accurately profile the gases within the gut (Photo courtesy of Atmo)
Image: The Atmo Gas Capsule is a world-first solution to accurately profile the gases within the gut (Photo courtesy of Atmo)

Gut disorders are among the most common health issues worldwide, affecting tens of millions of people. Current diagnostic methods for gastrointestinal disorders are often invasive or rely on subjective symptom reports and questionnaires. Existing diagnostic techniques, such as aspiration, biopsy, endoscopy, motility pills, imaging pills, and breath testing, all have limitations. Gases serve as crucial biomarkers for disease, dysfunction, and dysbiosis, and real-time gas sensing within the gut offers an accurate, convenient way to diagnose common gastrointestinal conditions, such as food intolerances, motility disorders, SIBO, and IBS. Now, a gas-sensing capsule capable of measuring the concentration of various gases at the source of production in the gastrointestinal tract in real-time could revolutionize testing for gastrointestinal disorders.

The Atmo Gas Capsule from Atmo Biosciences (Box Hill, VIC, Australia) is a world-first solution for accurately profiling gases within the gut to improve diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. When ingested, the gas-sensing capsule electronically collects essential data about the human gastrointestinal system by detecting gases in real-time from known locations within the gut, using these biomarkers for diagnosis. This approach leads to targeted treatment, earlier symptom relief, and reduced healthcare costs. The ingestible capsule could serve as a diagnostic tool for various gut disorders, from motility disorders, IBS, and IBD to liver disease.

The Atmo Gas Capsule's 2cm-long polymer shell houses gas sensors, a temperature sensor, a microcontroller, a radio-frequency transmitter, and button-sized silver-oxide batteries. The gas sensors are enclosed within a unique membrane that permits gas entry while protecting against stomach acid and digestive juices. The technology functions by adjusting the heating elements of the sensors to measure different gases, and the data can be transmitted to a mobile phone. Oxygen concentrations are used to track the capsule's progress throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Data is sent in real-time to a portable receiver, which then transmits the information via Bluetooth to a cellphone, enabling easy monitoring by users and doctors. Atmo is preparing to initiate a multi-site pivotal study to support a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submission for the use of its gas-sensing capsule in assessing gastrointestinal motility.

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