Wednesday June 19, 2019

New Expanding Pills To Track Ulcers and Stomach Cancer

In the lab, the researchers dunked the pill in various solutions of water and fluid resembling gastric juices.

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Aspirin, Ovarian cancer
New ingestible, expanding pill to track ulcers, stomach cancer.

MIT engineers have designed an ingestible pill that upon reaching the stomach quickly swells to the size of a soft, squishy ping-pong ball and could potentially track ulcers, cancers, and other intestinal conditions.

The inflatable pill is embedded with a sensor that continuously tracks the stomach’s temperature for up to 30 days.

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.

Ulcers, Pill
The combination enables the pill to quickly swell. IANS

“The dream is to have a Jell-O-like smart pill, that once swallowed stays in the stomach and monitors the patient’s health for a long time such as a month,” said Xuanhe Zhao, Associate Professor at MIT.

“With our design, you wouldn’t need to go through a painful process to implant a rigid balloon.

“Maybe you can take a few of these pills instead, to help fill out your stomach, and lose weight. We see many possibilities for this hydrogel device,” Zhao said.

Pills
The inflatable pill is embedded with a sensor. IANS

If the pill needs to be removed from the stomach, a patient can drink a solution of calcium that triggers the pill to quickly shrink to its original size and pass safely out of the body.

The new pill, detailed in Nature Communications journal, is made from two types of hydrogels — mixtures of polymers and water that resemble the consistency of Jell-O.

The combination enables the pill to quickly swell in the stomach while remaining impervious to the stomach’s churning acidic environment.

Also Read: This Biodegradable Plaster can Treat Your Mouth Ulcers

In the lab, the researchers dunked the pill in various solutions of water and fluid resembling gastric juices, and found the pill inflated to 100 times its original size in about 15 minutes – much faster than existing swellable hydrogels.

Once inflated, Zhao noted that the pill is about the softness of tofu or Jell-O, yet surprisingly strong. (IANS)

Next Story

GRAIL Announces Significant Progress on Blood Tests to Detect Cancer

Grail's new results are from 2,300 people

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GRAIL, Blood Tests, Detect, Cancer
FILE A patient has her blood drawn at a hospital in Philadelphia to monitor her cancer treatment. VOA

A California company says its experimental blood test was able to detect many types of cancer at an early stage and gave very few false alarms in a study that included people with and without the disease.

Many companies are trying to develop early detection “liquid biopsy” tests that capture bits of DNA that cancer cells shed into blood.

GRAIL, Blood Tests, Detect, Cancer
A California company says its experimental blood test was able to detect many types of cancer at an early stage. VOA

Grail’s new results are from 2,300 people. The test detected 55% of known cancers and gave false alarms for 1%. It also accurately suggested where the cancer may be about 90% of the time.

Also Read- US Removes Eritrea From Counterterror Non-Cooperaltion List

The company gave results in news release Friday and will report them Saturday at a conference in Chicago. They have not been published or reviewed by other scientists. (VOA)