A novel 3D-printed capsule, developed by a team at Purdue University (IL, USA), could allow for the collection of bacteria samples from throughout the gastrointestinal tract, improving on conventional sampling methods that may exclude areas for bacteria collection outside of the colon.
Fig. 1 (a) Schematic illustration of sampling capsule within GI tract. (b) The biodegradable coating protects the components within the capsule until it reaches the target location within the small intestine. (c) Once it reaches the target location, the biodegradable coating dissolves and allows inflow of fluids, which results in the swelling of the hydrogel and closing the sampling aperture.
Fig. 2 (a) 3D drawing of device components including biodegradable coating, 3D printed housing, polymeric acrylic acid/acrylamide-based hydrogel, and flexible PDMS disk. (b) Photograph of individual components including 3D printed housing displaying two screw-on sections, sampling hydrogel, and PDMS disk. (c) Image of final assembled capsule.