Arizona Patent of the Month – November 2020

Electronics are increasingly used in the medical field to monitor, diagnose, and administer therapy to patients. As more bioavailable materials are developed, electronics are able to be used in novel applications, such as skin-based and implanted devices. But, there are areas of the body that have not been extensively explored with electronics, such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. GI disorders are common, so doctors would like to be able to monitor and measure pH levels in order to administer the correct amount of medication, since acid suppressants (a common medication for GI conditions) come with risks. So, the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University has developed a food-based, digestible device that’s able to measure pH levels in the GI tract. 

The device is made of food materials and a small amount of non-toxic, edible material, such as gold, and includes antennas and resistors to wirelessly transmit data signals to an external device. The edible device has an electrical circuit pattern printed on the top and is rolled into a cylinder. The electrodes are housed on the outer layer of the device for sensing. The device can both survive the acidic nature in the GI tract and monitor and measure pH levels. Since the device is made from almost entirely digestible material, the procedure can be repeated with a new device without putting the patient at risk.

Are you adapting existing technology for a new application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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