Scientists have developed an ingestible pill that can potentially track stomach cancer and ulcers.
MIT engineers, the creators of the new drug, reveal the pill becomes a soft, squishy ping-pong ball once it reaches the stomach. A sensor embedded in the inflatable pill has the ability to track temperature in the stomach for 30 days.
The defence mechanisms of the pufferfish and blowfish were the inspiration behind the design. The pill is made from two types of hydrogels, which is a combination of polymers and water that has a similar consistency of Jell-O. The mix is what helps the pill to swell once inside the stomach and offers protection from the tummy's acidic environment.
"The dream is to have a Jell-O-like smart pill, that once swallowed stays in the stomach and monitors the patient's health for a long time such as a month," Xuanhe Zhao, Associate Professor at MIT, told a news portal. Adding, "With our design, you wouldn't need to go through a painful process to implant a rigid balloon."
"Maybe you can take a few of these pills instead, to help fill out your stomach, and lose weight. We see many possibilities for this hydrogel device," Zhao further explained.
To remove it from your body, the creators say you have to drink a solution of calcium which causes the pill to shrink so it can pass out easily.