Researchers at RMIT are one step closer to introduce gas sensing capsule in market, followed by new agreement with Atmo Biosciences
Breakdown process of consumed food by microbes results into formation of various gaseous byproducts. Monitoring of such gases can assist physicians to understand health of gastrointestinal system. These gaseous biomarkers can signal the presence of gut disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis. Conventional methods for gas monitoring include invasive tube insertion, which may result in diluted samples and inconsistent results.
Novel Atmo gas capsule is non-invasive method to monitor gastrointestinal system. The capsule is found to be efficient and safe in early human trials. The capsule is swallowed with a standard meal and it continuously transmits data to an external small receiver until it is expelled. The data is transferred from the receiver to a smartphone app via Bluetooth allowing a physician to instantly monitor the results. Clinical trials reported that capsule is a remarkable 3,000 times more accurate than a breath test. The researchers are further working on expanding range of gases and compounds that can be measured. For instance, measurements of short chain fatty acids could be included offering an incredibly valuable and unique insight into the functioning of a person’s gut microbiome.
“By measuring the hydrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen produced by the gut directly at the source, our capsule offers vastly more accurate results and unprecedented signal to noise ratios, compared with breath testing,” said Kyle Berean, one of the researchers developing the capsule. Collaboration with Atmo Biosciences aims to accelerate commercial development of the capsule, rapidly progressing the innovation through final human trials and bringing the device to market. At this stage it is estimated the Atmo gas capsule could be available to doctors – or more accurately the guts of patients – by 2022.