Promising new diagnostic tool to explore the inner workings of the gut

Thursday, 25 Jan 2018

Describe the aim of this project in 10 words.

To develop tools for diagnosing gut disorders and diet assessment.

You’ve just published some findings from a pilot study in human volunteers. What have you discovered so far?

That our human gas capsule indeed operates at extremely high sensitivity and selectivity and that it can be used for revealing facts regarding human body that we have not known. For instance, the presence of an oxidative immune system in the stomach and that we can push oxygen down to the colon using very high fibre diets.

What aspect of this research excites you the most?

ingestible gas sensor

Photo: Peter Clarke, RMIT University

That this is the first swallowable chemical sensor ever tested for humans and we can now measure parameters that previously we could only dream about.





How long before this work might impact patient care?

If funding is available, we can start the Phase II trial by recruiting patients right away. This is on a large number of patients that can participate in the trials for free. We believe that early 2020 is a realistic target to enter the market.

What’s your Holy Grail – the one thing you’d like to achieve in your research career?

My team and I just wish to deliver the capsule into the hands of patients in order to help them with relief from pain.

What is your biggest research hurdle?

We desperately need a benevolent investor to take this product to the market.

Apart from biosensors, what other projects of yours intersect with medical research?

My group has been working on nano-bio materials for a long time: especially on atomically thin materials for recognising their interactions with live cells. I think we are also in very advanced places regarding the development of the most sensitive plasmonic systems.

What other interests help create work-life balance for you? 

I don’t think that anyone believes in work-life balance anymore!

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