Edible e-pill could replace painful endoscopy procedures for gastro-intestinal tract diagnosis

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Diagnosing the diseases early is the biggest contributor to success of any treatment. An Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Associate Professor might revolutionise the endoscopy procedures used in the diagnosis of digestive diseases. The IISc professor has a sweet solution that will serve an alternative to the painful endoscopy.

Sanjiv Sambandan, who is an associate professor at IISC’s Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics, led the development of an edible e-pill that could change the future of endoscopy. The electronic pill, integrated with sensors would detect clinically important parameters in the gastro-intestinal tract and transmit the data outside.

“The recent years have seen an emergence of decentralised healthcare with the development of several technologies for point of care diagnostics. The key requirements for these technologies are that they be easy to use and safe while at the same time being reliable and timely,” IISc said in a statement defining the breakthrough discovery.

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Is the e-pill safe?

The first assumption about the e-pill one might have, given its technological specifications, is whether it is safe to consume. Better yet, it’s going to be tasty as well, if IISc is to be believed.

“This would be achieved using an edible pill made of sugar and other materials that are safe or well below toxicity limits,” IISc said in a statement.

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In fact, Sambandan’s discovery was declared one of the winners of the National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition 2020. The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) — which organised the event, said the e-pill could be the future of endoscopy.

Sambandan’s work has also garnered the interest and collaboration with the Micro-robotics Core at IISc and University of Cambridge.

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