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From Wearables to Swallowables: USC Engineering Researchers Create GPS-like Smart Pills with AI - USC Viterbi | School of Engineering

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the development of ingestible sensors that can track location and detect stomach gases, which could enable early detection of gastrointestinal diseases and potentially even neurodegenerative diseases.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Tracking Ingestible Sensors

1. What are the challenges with tracking "smart" pills once they are swallowed?

  • Tracking the location of ingestible devices within the body has been a challenge.

2. How have innovations at USC Viterbi School of Engineering addressed this challenge?

  • Researchers have developed ingestible sensors that can detect stomach gases and provide real-time location tracking.
  • They have created a wearable system with a coil that generates a magnetic field, which coupled with a trained neural network, allows the location of the capsule to be tracked within the body.

3. What are the key innovations in the ingestible sensor device?

  • The capsule is outfitted with an "optical sensing membrane" that is selective to gases like ammonia, which can be a signal of gastrointestinal issues.
  • The ingestible system with the wearable coil is compact and practical for application in human health.

[02] Potential Applications

1. What are the potential applications of this ingestible sensor technology?

  • Early detection of gastrointestinal diseases like peptic ulcers, gastritis, and gastric cancers.
  • Monitoring brain health by tracking neurotransmitters in the gut, which may be related to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

2. What are the next steps for testing and development of this technology?

  • The device is currently patent pending.
  • The next step is to test the wearables with swine models.
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