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  • A team of MIT engineers

  • has designed an ingestible, expanding pill

  • that can monitor the stomach for up to a month,

  • potentially tracking cancers, ulcers

  • and other GI conditions.

  • Soft and squishy, it's made from two types of hydrogels,

  • the combination of which enables the pill to quickly swell

  • while remaining impervious

  • to the stomach's acidic environment.

  • If the patient needs to remove the pill,

  • they can simply drink a solution of calcium ions

  • containing more calcium than whole milk

  • that triggers the pill to quickly shrink back

  • to its original size and pass safely out of the body.

  • This hydrogel based design is softer, more bio-compatible

  • and longer lasting than current ingestible sensors,

  • typically made of hard plastics or metals

  • which are quite stiff in comparison

  • to the gastrointestinal tract.

  • The inner material of the design

  • are super absorbent hydrogel particles

  • that are used in commercial products such as diapers

  • for their ability to soak up liquid quickly.

  • The second protective hydrogel layer was designed

  • to encapsulate the fast swelling particles.

  • The outer membrane is made from a multitude

  • of nanoscopic crystalline chains, each folded over another

  • in a nearly impenetrable gridlock pattern.

  • To test the inflatability of the design,

  • researchers dumped the material in various solutions

  • of water and fluid resembling gastric juices.

  • They found the pill inflated

  • up to a hundred times its original size in about 15 minutes,

  • much faster than existing expandable hydrogels.

  • To test the pill's toughness,

  • the researchers mechanically squeezed it thousands of times

  • at forces greater than the pill would ever experience

  • for regular contractions in the stomach.

  • They found the design is both soft like tofu or jello

  • but extremely robust.

  • Finally, to show their ability

  • to track environmental changes in the stomach,

  • the researchers embedded

  • within their design a small commercial temperature sensor

  • which allows them to accurately

  • and remotely track activity patterns within the body

  • for up to 30 days.

  • Down the road, the researchers envision the pill

  • may safely deliver a number of different sensors

  • to the stomach to monitor for instance pH levels

  • or signs of certain bacteria or viruses.

  • Tiny cameras may also be able to be embedded into the design

  • to image the progress of tumors or ulcers over time.

A team of MIT engineers


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B2 中上級

ゼリー状の膨張性ピル (Jell-O-like, expanding pill)

  • 22 2
    jbsatvtac1 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日