Ingestible bacteria-on-a-chip diagnoses gastrointestinal diseasesMassachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed an ingestible sensor that has engineered bacteria that can diagnose bleeding in the stomach and has the potential to diagnose other gastrointestinal problems.
The system, being called bacteria-on-a-chip, uses sensors with living cells and ultra-low power electronics that can convert a bacterial response into wireless signals that can be read by a smartphone.
A study of the bacteria-on-a-chip showed that the sensor responded to heme and worked in a pig. The sensors could also respond to a molecule that is a marker of inflammation.
So far, the researchers have tested the chip on pigs and have shown that they could see whether there was blood in the stomach or not. The researchers hope that this type of sensor could either be used for a one-time use or for staying in the digestive tract for several days or weeks while sending continuous wireless signals.