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IISc scientists develop e-pill to track gastro-intestinal tract

January 5 2021: A team at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore has developed an edible electronic e-pill to diagnose gastro intestinal problems.
Prof. Sanjiv Sambandan‘s  proposal on the ‘Edible Electronic Pill’ has been declared one of the winners of the National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition 2020
Says a release by IISc:”The recent years have seen an emergence of decentralized 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. The former requirements are well met by non-invasive technologies such as wearable electronics whereas the later requirements are better met by medically supervised invasive diagnosis. We envision a diagnostic platform that gets the best of both worlds by being both safe and easy to use while at the same time being reliable.”
This would be achieved using an edible pill made of sugar and other materials that are safe or well below toxicity limits. The pill would house sensors that would detect clinically important parameters in the gastro-intestinal tract and relay the information to the outside world. The pill is then digested safely by the body. This work is currently supported by the IoE grant at IISc and was named one of the 11 winners at the National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition 2020.
Early developments of edible system have been completed by the team of Prof. Sanjiv Sambandan (Principal Investigator), Dr. K. Gunashekar, Ganapathy Saravanavel, Sanjay John, Shivcharana Goud, Vivekanand Upadhyay and Piyush Ranjan. The work has led to interest from and collaboration opportunities with the Micro-robotics Core at IISc and the University of Cambridge.