Capsule Collects Gut Bacteria

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The capsule has so far been successfully tested on pigs and non-human primates, but not on...
The capsule has so far been successfully tested on pigs and non-human primates, but not on people(Credit: Tufts University)

The over-abundance or lack of certain types of gut bacteria has been linked to everything from depression to heart disease to childhood asthma. Non-invasively determining which microbes make up a person’s “gut microbiome,” however, can be difficult – which is why a new 3D-printed capsule was developed.

Created by a team at Massachusetts’ Tufts University, the capsule is designed to be orally ingested, collecting various species of bacteria as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. Once it’s excreted in the feces, the capsule can be retrieved and its contents analyzed.

It incorporates two interior chambers that are separated by a semi-permeable membrane. One of these chambers contains helical (helix-shaped) microfluidic channels, in which bacteria gathered from different stages of the GI tract are stored. The other contains calcium salt which produces an osmotic flow across the membrane, pulling bacteria from outside of the capsule into the channels in the first chamber.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).