Researchers at Norwich’s Institute of Food Research have assembled what they believe to be the most advanced artificial stomach to date. Unfortunately, artificial gallbladders may still be decades away.
Constructed from sophisticated plastics and metals able to withstand the corrosive acids and enzymes found in the human gut, the device may ultimately help in the development of super-nutrients, such as obesity-fighting foods that could fool the stomach into thinking it is full.
“There have been lots of jam-jar models of digestion before,” said Dr. Martin Wickham of Norwich’s Institute of Food Research, the artificial gut’s chief designer, referring to the beakers of enzymes typically used to approximate the chemical reactions in the stomach.
Wickham’s patented artificial gut is a two-part model that is slightly larger than a desktop computer. The top half consists of a funnel in which food, stomach acids and digestive enzymes are mixed. Once this hydration process is finished, the food gets ground down in a silver metal tube encased in a dark, transparent box.
Unlike previous gut models, Wickham’s model incorporates the physiological elements of digestion, including the stomach contractions that break up food and move it along the assembly line of human digestion.
If interested, read the full article from the AP . . .