Envivo Bio has reported a new study which showed that its intestinal sampling device, CapScan, can profile the human gut microbiome and metabolome non-invasively and precisely under physiological conditions.

The study was published in Nature and is titled ‘Profiling the human intestinal environment under physiological conditions.’

Researchers from various universities and institutions detailed the abilities of CapScan in measuring the microbial, viral, proteomic and bile acid profiles present in the human intestines throughout the normal digestion process.

They discovered significant variations in gene class abundance, microbiome composition, prophage induction and the host proteome throughout different regions of the human intestine.

Envivo Bio founder and CEO Dr Dari Shalon said: “Our research confirms that, up until now, studies of the gut microbiome have really been studies of the stool microbiome, which missed out on most of the biological activity in our intestinal tract.

“By enabling researchers to sample and assess each of the diverse intestinal ecosystems separately and directly for the first time, CapScan opens the door to a new era of microbiome research.”

Shalon along with Max Planck Institute, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, University of California Davis and two health care systems’ collaborators collected 240 intestinal samples from 15 healthy individuals using CapScan.

Each participant in the study ingested sets of four devices. They were all designed to open at progressively higher pH levels.

After evacuating the devices, the scientists evaluated the massive sets of microbiome, metabolome and proteome data by using multi-omics.

These data were collected regionally throughout the gastrointestinal tract.

CapScan is a non-invasive, ingestible collection device, comparable in size to a regular vitamin pill.

It is claimed to be the only device that can boost microbiome-related research and biopharmaceutical drug discovery and development programmes.

Each device has an enteric coating tailored to dissolve gradually, aligning with the specific pH levels in different regions of the human intestines.

After the dissolution of this coating, CapScan initiates the opening of its internal bladder, allowing the drawing of luminal content, which is subsequently examined externally.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing funding for a clinical study conducted by Envivo in collaboration with Stanford Medicine researchers.

The study will deploy CapScan to understand the impact of the gut microbiome on the gut health of mothers and children in low and middle-income countries.