Abu Dhabi: A team of researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has developed a new, non-invasive system to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal motility disorders.
The team led by Mr. Khalil Ramadi, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at NYUAD, has generated 3D magnetic field gradients using high-frequency electromagnetic coils that encode each spatial point with a distinct magnetic field magnitude in order to track the movement of an ingestible “smart pill” through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
The findings are included in a paper titled “Location-aware smart-pills for wireless monitoring of gastrointestinal dynamics,” published in the journal Nature Electronics. Mr. Ramadi conducted the study together with Mr. Saransh Sharma, a graduate student at Caltech. Giovanni Traverso (MIT), Mr. Mikhail Shapiro, and Ms. Azita Emami are the senior authors of the paper.
The field magnitude is measured and transmitted by the “smart pill” to determine its precise location, which is then communicated to a smartphone using Bluetooth technology.
Existing “smart pills” do not offer the large field-of-view (FOV), high spatial resolution, and fully wireless operation that the 3D magnetic field gradient developed by the researchers allows for. This new technology has the potential for future use in clinical applications for more accurate and efficient diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders and the precise targeting of therapeutic interventions, as well as minimally invasive procedures.
It is estimated that gastrointestinal disorders affect more than one-third of the world’s population, which makes it significant to develop more accurate and effective diagnostic and treatment approaches.
The newly-developed “smart pill” offers a FOV that is more than three orders of magnitude larger than what previous microdevices offered, allowing for a broader scope and providing a non-invasive, convenient, and highly accurate alternative.
“The smart pill our team has developed represents a more accessible and efficient approach to assessing GI motility that can benefit both patients and medical providers. This is a new frontier for medical diagnosis and evidence-based treatment and has the potential, with further research and refinement, to revolutionise how we can most effectively address health challenges that impact millions of people worldwide,” Mr. Ramadi remarked.