MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers have announced an ingestible device innovation: a small voltaic cell that can withstand the acidity of fluids in the stomach and still transmit information to a base station.
The small device can stay in the gastrointestinal tract for long periods of time and can produce enough power to operate small sensors or drug delivery devices. Researchers say that this power is a safer and cheaper alternative to the batteries that are used to power devices now.
“We need to come up with ways to power these ingestible systems for a long time,” Giovanni Traverso, a research affiliate at the MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, said in an MIT news release. “We see the GI tract as providing a really unique opportunity to house new systems for drug delivery and sensing, and fundamental to these systems is how they are powered.”