Researchers come up with a cheap analogue of manometry based on Inca technology

The researchers filled a silicone catheter with gallium-indium eutectic, a liquid metal that is non-toxic in

small amounts. The filled tube was sealed on both sides. In the decoupled state, it can respond to pressure changes, but is not sensitive enough.

Along the tube, scientists tied knots with a giveninterval. This made the catheter more sensitive. In this state, the device can measure pressure up to 200 mmHg, which is approximately the maximum pressure in the human digestive tract.

Researchers have shown that sensitivity topressure may vary depending on the type of knot and how tightly it is tied. To study the gastrointestinal tract, the developers tied knots at a distance of about 1 cm from each other. For other measurements, such "sensors" can be tied closer or farther.

This approach, according to the authors of the study,they were prompted by the quipu, the technology of writing and counting, which was used by the Incas. Kipu is a complex rope plexus with knots tied in different ways.

"Our goal was to makea device comparable to existing catheter-based pressure sensors, while at the same time reducing cost and simplifying its production and application,” says Kevan Nan, co-author of the study.

Contractions of the gastrointestinal tract ensure the movement of food. Violation of peristalsis can cause health problems. To measure the work of the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, I use manometry.

“Manometry allows you to qualitatively measurepressure and speed with which contractile waves propagate in the gastrointestinal tract. But the devices for such a procedure are expensive, they require special maintenance and a complex sterilization procedure between patients, ”says Giovanni Traverso, co-author of the study.

Scientists tested their device onanimals. The results of the experiments showed that the created device shows results identical to those obtained with high-resolution manometry. In addition, as the researchers note, the developed device can withstand high temperatures and can be disinfected in a conventional autoclave used for sterilization in all medical institutions.

“Our sensors are very simple and cheap,” says Nan. “I think that this type of diagnostic can be widely used in both developing and developed countries.”

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