“There needs to be an approach that allows for the early detection of predictive markers of age-related bowel disorders. If we can measure the chemicals and the function of bowel muscles over time, we will be able to detect changes very early before the patient gets symptoms, and start treatments to delay/prevent the onset of these disorders,” says Professor Patel.
Professor Patel and Dr Yeoman will work on developing an electrochemical probe that can be inserted into the lower bowel to track changes in key chemicals affecting bowel function, as well as muscle activity. The will require work on both design and electronics to obtain the required measurements. Additionally, the new probe is also being developed in a fashion that it can also delivery drugs into the bowel for localised treatment.
Professor Patel said: “To make these probes we will utilise 3D printing, which provides a platform for the efficient manufacturing of the parts of the probe. Once these probes have been made, we will explore how modifications to the materials used to construct the probe and the shape of the probe affect its performance. These studies will be vital to provide a probe suitable for tracking and predicting the likelihood of age-related bowel disorders.”
You can also hear Professor Bhavik talking more about his work in this 2019 podcast.