A University of Dundee-led project to develop a pill carrying ultrasound technology, named "Sonopill," has been awarded a £5million grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The project aims to develop a capsule that can be easily swallowed and relay ultrasound images from inside the body. While pills with cameras in have existed before, the "Sonopill" aims to take this concept further. The hope is it will help in diagnosing problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
With collaborators at Heriot Watt University and the University of Glasgow, the "Sonopill" builds on Scotland's world-leading research capabilities in medical ultrasound.
"The principal current method of examining problems within the gastrointestinal tract is endoscopy, which is very uncomfortable and requires a high-level of clinical skill," said Professor Sandy Cochran, of the Institute for Medical Science and Technology at the University of Dundee.
"So-called 'pillcams' are a developing area of medical technology which have already benefitted more than one million patients. What we want to do is develop that technology further to include ultrasound, for the first time seeing beyond the surface of the gastrointestinal tract into the tissue itself. This will bring significant diagnostic benefits for patients. We also want to explore treatment with such pills."
The grant is being announced as part of a £47million investment, supporting new innovative engineering projects in the UK. We look forward to seeing future developments.