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Novel Technologies

Novel technologies is part of the five focus areas, including preclinical human IBD mechanisms, environmental triggers, precision medicine, and pragmatic clinical research, described in the Challenges in IBD Research document.

The main goal of future studies focused on novel technologies in IBD is to develop and implement next-generation bioengineering technologies to address pressing unmet clinical needs in IBD, particularly to improve diagnostics and optimize disease management. Specific research gaps that should be prioritized include: 1) non-invasive detection and monitoring of active inflammation and assessment of treatment response; 2) mucosal targeted drug delivery systems; and 3) prevention of post-operative septic complications and treatment of fistulizing complications.

Read more about novel technologies in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Currently, the Foundation is supporting two research studies focusing on development of biosensors for non-invasive monitoring of inflammation.  These novel technologies are described below. 

Biosensors

Currently-funded novel technologies studies are focused on the development of sensor technologies that allow continuous, non-invasive, or minimally invasive monitoring of inflammation. One study is developing an ingestible electronic device, which carries engineered bacteria, that can sense inflammatory factors and transmit a wireless signal to a receiver device outside the body like a smart phone. Another study is developing a wearable bracelet that detects pro-inflammatory molecules, called cytokines, in sweat.

These innovative approaches will improve our ability to monitor disease activity, and to detect inflammation before  clinical symptoms appear, so doctors and patients can make early treatment decisions.