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New device for diagnosing gastric disorders

Gastric disorders can now be easily diagnosed with the help of a new device that provides unprecedented clarity of muscular contractions even in the deepest digestive parts.



A new endoscope (instrument) based on fibre optics allows one to see within the colon, the main part of the large intestine, the last in the digestive system.

Gastric disorders are often hard to identify because of a lack of understanding of what happens inside guts.

Phil Dinning, physiologist from Flinders University, and his colleague John Arkwright were awarded the annual Eureka Prize of Australia for developing the cutting edge, pressure-sensing catheter (tube).

By adapting fibre-optics - the flexible, small-diameter technology more usually associated with telecom - the researchers have been able to monitor the gastrointestinal tract with high resolution over extended lengths.

While designed for gastro use, the technology is not limited to this field and already interest is growing in fields such as urology and cardiology, according to a Flinders statement.

It also has potential applications outside medicine in infrastructure and hazardous environment monitoring.

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