Small, ingestible sensors powered by belly acid

Feb 09, 2017, 5:47 AM EST
(Source: Neil Tackaberry/flickr)
(Source: Neil Tackaberry/flickr)

Getting rid of potentially injurious battery systems within ingestible medical sensors has been a challenge for surgeons for a long time but a team of M.I.T. engineers claims to have found a solution to it. The researchers have developed an ingestible medical sensor that draws power from stomach acid thus sidestepping the battery issue altogether.

M.I.T. researcher Robert Langer said the breakthrough opens the possibility of developing novel ways of monitoring patient health and treating diseases with the help of electronic ingestible pills, writes Seeker.

The prototype device, a pill-shaped cylinder 40 millimeters long and 12 millimeters in diameter, is currently big in size to swallow, but the efforts are on to bring that size down to one-third, notes Cosmos. The scientists are hopeful that the technology can prove extremely beneficial in controlled drug delivery for diseases such as malaria.