Industry takes step to commercialise capsule to measure gas

An electronic capsule that measures gases in the gut is now undergoing clinical trials.

The Atmo Gas Capsule, a product of research first conducted at RMIT, is now being used in human trials at Monash University and the Alfred Hospital.

Atmo Biosciences is managing the commercialisation of the technology, after signing an agreement with RMIT in 2018.

The trials hope to establish the use of the capsule to detect and measure gaseous biomarkers in real time, to improve the diagnosis of gut disorders that affect one in five people.

The size of a large multivitamin, in the Alfred hospital trial the capsule will transmit data on hydrogen and oxygen gas profiles at the source of production wirelessly to cloud data storage, which can then be analysed by researchers.

In the Monash trial, the capsule will measure the concentration of gaseous biomarkers continuously as it passes along the gastrointestinal track, to allow for better treatment and management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

According to Atmo Biosciences CEO, Mal Hebblewhite, the trials will enable further commercialisation.

“The IBS trial is a great example of how the Atmo Gas Capsule provides researchers with the opportunity to assess the impact of personalised therapies on the gut in real time,” he said.

After the technology behind the Atmo capsule was developed by RMIT, health tech and innovation company Planet Innovation developed and manufactured the capsule.

In comparison with breath testing, initial results from the first round of trials showed that the capsule was better able to measure microbiome function.