Sensors You Can Swallow Could Be Made of Nutrients and Powered by Stomach Acid
Illustration: Bettinger Group/CMU
The future of ingestible sensors could be a cross between silicon-based circuitry and biodegradable materials, with batteries made of nutrients and running on stomach juices.That, at least, is the vision of Christopher Bettinger, assistant professor of materials science and biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His group is working on edible electronics and ways to power them. Ingestible sensors could provide a gut check for early signs on bacterial infection, look for symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, monitor uptake of medications, and even study the microbiome living inside people.