At the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, innovations in wearable electronics and AI have led to the development of ingestible sensors that not only detect stomach gasses but also provide real-time location tracking.


Copyright: – “‘Fitbit for the gut’: researchers create GPS-like smart pills with AI”


SwissCognitive_Logo_RGBDeveloped by the Khan Lab, these capsules are tailored to identify gasses associated with gastritis and gastric cancers.

The research, to be published in Cell Reports Physical Science, shows how these smart pills have been accurately monitored through a newly designed wearable system.

This breakthrough represents a significant step forward in ingestible technology, which Yasser Khan, an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at USC, believes could someday serve as a ‘Fitbit for the gut’ and for early disease detection.

While wearables with sensors hold a lot of promise to track body functions, the ability to track ingestible devices within the body has been limited.

However, with innovations in materials, the miniaturisation of electronics, as well as new protocols developed by Khan, researchers have demonstrated the ability to track the location of devices specifically in the GI tract.

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Khan’s team with the USC Institute for Technology and Medical Systems Innovation (ITEMS) at the Michelson Center for Convergent Biosciences, placed a wearable coil that generates a magnetic field on a t-shirt.

This field coupled with a trained neural network, allows his team to locate the capsule within the body.

According to Ansa Abdigazy, lead author of the work and a PhD student in the Khan Lab, this has not been demonstrated with a wearable before.

The second innovation within this device is the newly created “sensing” material. Capsules are outfitted not just with electronics for tracking location but with “optical sensing membrane that is selective to gasses.

This membrane is comprised of materials whose electrons change their behavior within the presence of ammonia gas.[…]

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