MIT's Low-Cost GI Pressure Sensor Inspired by Incas

An innovative new gastrointestinal pressure sensor measures GI motility more efficiently than current methods.

The ancient Incan practice of quipu involves the use of knotted strings to collect and store data. According to a recent Medgadget article, a team of researchers at MIT drew inspiration from this archaic method for a new gastrointestinal pressure sensor. They discovered that by adding knots to an inexpensive gastrointestinal pressure sensor, they were able to increase the device’s sensitivity.

Gastric motility refers to the process of gastrointestinal muscles advancing food through a tract, and it’s vital for normal GI function. Any disruption in the process can contribute to issues such as constipation, acid reflux, and IBS. Diagnosing gastric motility issues requires the use of a high-resolution manometry, which is expensive and requires maintenance and sterilization between patients. The new method can be sterilized through autoclaving or even used as a single-use disposable sensor. A video with more information can be seen here.