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An ingestible device for gastric electrophysiology

Abstract

The ability to record high-quality electrophysiology data from the gastrointestinal tract and enteric nervous system is of use in understanding a variety of disorders and improving healthcare via early diagnosis. However, such measurements remain challenging because electrodes must be implanted surgically or worn on the skin, which results in a trade-off between signal quality and invasiveness. Here we report an ingestible device for gastric electrophysiology. The non-invasive system, which is termed multimodal electrophysiology via ingestible, gastric, untethered tracking (MiGUT), consists of encapsulated electronics and a sensing electrode ribbon that unrolls in the stomach following delivery to make contact with the mucosa. The device then records and wirelessly transmits biopotential signals to an external receiver. We show that the device can record electrical signals—including the gastric slow wave, respiration signal and heart signal—in a large animal model and can monitor slow wave activity in freely moving and feeding animals.

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Fig. 1: MiGUT device overview.
Fig. 2: Design and in vivo evaluation of MiGUT system for multi-day, high-quality recordings.
Fig. 3: Acute recordings in an anaesthetized animal using MiGUT device.
Fig. 4: Validation of MiGUT measurements.
Fig. 5: High-resolution measurements in an ambulating animal using MiGUT device.
Fig. 6: Multi-day measurements in an ambulating animal using MiGUT device.

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Data availability

The data that supports the findings of this study are available at https://github.com/adamgierlach/MiGUT_data_repository.

Code availability

The code that supports the findings of this study is available at https://github.com/adamgierlach/MiGUT_data_repository.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful for discussions with R. Langer and the numerous members of the Traverso, Langer and Chandrakasan Laboratories. We are also grateful to G. Liu for suggesting names and acronyms for the MiGUT device. We thank V. E. Fulford, Alar Illustration, for work in Fig. 1. This work was in part supported by the following grants including a grant from Novo Nordisk, Karl van Tassel (1925) Career Development Professorship, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The research was funded in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) under Award Number D24AC00040-00. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. A.G. is supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postgraduate Scholarship-Doctoral and a Takeda Fellowship, MIT. P.S. was supported by a Rotary Global Grant scholarship. S.-Y.Y. was supported in part by a Mathworks Fellowship, MIT. S.O. is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases award 1T32DK135449-01.

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Authors

Contributions

S.S.Y., A.G., P.S., H.-W.H. and G.T. conceived and designed the research. S.S.Y., A.G., G.S., I.M., P.S. and S.-Y.Y. designed, tested and validated electronics. S.S.Y., A.G., P.S., S.-Y.Y., K.I., W.A.M.M., J.J. and A.H. performed animal experiments. S.S.Y., A.G., G.S. and I.M. wrote device firmware. S.S.Y. and A.G. wrote software to analyse data. S.S.Y., A.G., P.S., S.O. and G.T. interpreted results. S.S.Y., A.G., P.S., A.P.C. and G.T. wrote the paper. All authors reviewed and approved the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Giovanni Traverso.

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Competing interests

Financial competing interests for G.T. that may be interpreted as related to the current paper include current and prior funding from Novo Nordisk, Hoffman La Roche, Oracle, Draper Laboratory, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, NIH (NIBIB and NCI), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Karl van Tassel (1925) Career Development Professor, MIT, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) as well as employment by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Personal financial interests include equity/stock (Lyndra Therapeutics, Suono Bio, Vivtex, Celero Systems, Syntis Bio), board of directors member and/or consultant (Lyndra Therapeutics, Novo Nordisk, Suono Bio, Vivtex, Celero Systems, Syntis Bio) and royalties (past and potentially in the future) from licensed and/or optioned intellectual property (Lyndra Therapeutics, Novo Nordisk, Suono Bio, Vivtex, Celero Systems, Syntis Bio, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Mass General Brigham Innovation). Complete details of all relationships for profit and not-for-profit for G.T. can be found in Supplementary Information. The authors S.S.Y., A.G., G.S., S.-Y.Y. and G.T., with R. Langer, report a patent application (US Provisional Patent Application No. 63/589,401) describing the system reported in the paper. The other authors declare no competing interests.

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Nature Electronics thanks Aydin Farajidavar, Bozhi Tian and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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You, S.S., Gierlach, A., Schmidt, P. et al. An ingestible device for gastric electrophysiology. Nat Electron 7, 497–508 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-024-01160-w

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