Orally ingestible medical devices for gut engineering

Nikolaj Kofoed Mandsberg, Juliane Fjelrad Christfort, Khorshid Kamguyan, Anja Boisen, Sarvesh Kumar Srivastava*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Orally ingestible medical devices provide significant advancement for diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) tract-related conditions. From micro- to macroscale devices, with designs ranging from very simple to complex, these medical devices can be used for site-directed drug delivery in the GI tract, real-time imaging and sensing of gut biomarkers. Equipped with uni-direction release, or self-propulsion, or origami design, these microdevices are breaking the barriers associated with drug delivery, including biologics, across the GI tract. Further, on-board microelectronics allow imaging and sensing of gut tissue and biomarkers, providing a more comprehensive understanding of underlying pathophysiological conditions. We provide an overview of recent advances in orally ingestible medical devices towards drug delivery, imaging and sensing. Challenges associated with gut microenvironment, together with various activation/actuation modalities of medical devices for micromanipulation of the gut are discussed. We have critically examined the relationship between materials-device design-pharmacological responses with respect to existing regulatory guidelines and provided a clear roadmap for the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Pages (from-to)142-154
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Medical microdevices
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Gut microbiota
  • Oral drug delivery
  • GI diagnostics


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