Ingestible Gastro-Intestinal Sampling, Monitoring and Delivery Tools/Devices for Advancing Microbiome Research
May 2022 Council
Point(s) of Contact
Padma Maruvada, Ph.D.
The gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota, and mucosal interactions play a critical role in homeostasis, energy metabolism, host immunity, permeability, and transmission of metabolic signals along the GI-brain axis. Altered microbial composition and metabolism have been implicated in a variety of both communicable (i.e., infectious diseases) and non-communicable diseases including diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and cancer. However, translating knowledge of microbiome research to impact health in humans remains largely an unmet goal in the field. The exact nature and overall biogeography of GI mucosal and microbial interactions are not well defined in humans, and analysis of feces as a proxy for microbial composition and function does not truly reflect the regional host-microbe community interactions. Limited studies on regional communities within the GI tract suggest unique microbial ecologies and metabolic impact on the host. Development of non-invasive, ingestible devices/tools for collection of samples and data for mechanistic exploration of GI microbiota interactions in clinical cohorts is needed to advance the field. Devices capable of monitoring disease and/or delivering therapies could advance microbiome research. This initiative seeks to support the development of ingestible tools/devices that enable sampling of luminal and mucosal contents (both host and microbial components), detecting and/or monitoring site-specific microbiome-host interactions.