Melbourne based startup Atmo Biosciences and RMIT University (Australia) has signed a commercial license agreement that paves the way for technology enhancements and final human trials. The measurement of gaseous byproducts of the gut is critical for the diagnosis of various gut disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis. A number of gaseous byproducts are released when the microbes in the gut break food. Analysing these gases offers important clues about the health of the gastrointestinal system.
The current method of measuring gases involves invasive tube insertion or the non-invasive measure of gases via the breath tests. However, the breath tests are not reliable and are frequently associated with false positives and negative diagnosis. The concentration of gases in the gut are 10,000 times higher than those present in the breath as the gases get diluted. As a result, the accurate estimation of gaseous biomarkers is quite challenging, The new novel smart capsule offers a real-time measure of gaseous biomarkers in the gut.
The capsule is ingested into the person along with the meal. Then it transfers the data instantaneously during its travel through the gastrointestinal system to the handheld device. From here the information is transferred to the mobile app via Bluetooth. As a result, the physician can instantly monitor the results. In phase 1 human trials it was established the capsule to be safe and reliable. The capsule is 3000 times more accurate than the breath tests in detecting gas biomarkers. Dr Kyle Berean, the chief technology officer (CTO) of Atmo, and research fellow in RMIT’s school of engineering opined that capsule directly measures the oxygen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen emitted from the gut. Hence, it gives accurate results and unprecedented signal to noise ratios as compared to breath testing.
The strategic partnership of RMIT with Atmo Biosciences will fasten up the commercialisation of the capsule by rapidly progressing through the human trials and thereby bringing to the market. If everything goes as planned, then the revolutionary smart capsule would be available to the doctors by 2022. Further, RMIT would receive the royalties from the sale of the capsules made by Atmos biosciences.