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Issue 23, 2015
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Swallowable fluorometric capsule for wireless triage of gastrointestinal bleeding

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Abstract

Real-time detection of gastrointestinal bleeding remains a major challenge because there does not yet exist a minimally invasive technology that can both i) monitor for blood from an active hemorrhage and ii) uniquely distinguish it from blood left over from an inactive hemorrhage. Such a device would be an important tool for clinical triage. One promising solution, which we have proposed previously, is to inject a fluorescent dye into the blood stream and to use it as a distinctive marker of active bleeding by monitoring leakage into the gastrointestinal tract with a wireless fluorometer. This paper reports, for the first time to our knowledge, the development of a swallowable, wireless capsule with a built-in fluorometer capable of detecting fluorescein in blood, and intended for monitoring gastrointestinal bleeding in the stomach. The embedded, compact fluorometer uses pinholes to define a microliter sensing volume and to eliminate bulky optical components. The proof-of-concept capsule integrates optics, low-noise analog sensing electronics, a microcontroller, battery, and low power Zigbee radio, all into a cylindrical package measuring 11 mm × 27 mm and weighing 10 g. Bench-top experiments demonstrate wireless fluorometry with a limit-of-detection of 20 nM aqueous fluorescein. This device represents a major step towards a technology that would enable simple, rapid detection of active gastrointestinal bleeding, a capability that would save precious time and resources and, ultimately, reduce complications in patients.

Graphical abstract: Swallowable fluorometric capsule for wireless triage of gastrointestinal bleeding

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
02 Jul 2015
Accepted
12 Oct 2015
First published
12 Oct 2015

Lab Chip, 2015,15, 4479-4487
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Swallowable fluorometric capsule for wireless triage of gastrointestinal bleeding

A. Nemiroski, M. Ryou, C. C. Thompson and R. M. Westervelt, Lab Chip, 2015, 15, 4479
DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00770D

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