I know that it’s April 1st, but this post is not an April Fool’s joke. Israeli company Vibrant Ltd. has developed a vibrating capsule that the Company claims to provide chemical-free and safe treatment for patients suffering from constipation. According to Vibrant:
“The capsules, mechanically operated, aid in treating constipated patients without side effects.
Constipation relief is achieved by the capsule’s vibrations on the large intestinal wall, consequently inducing natural peristaltic activity, generating spontaneous additional bowel movement.
Vibrant capsule is easy to swallow. The capsule is controlled through algorithms, predefined by Vibrant’s R&D and gastroenterologist.
The capsule is activated by a base unit that transfers the data of the predefined algorithm into the capsule, before swallowing it.
The capsule operates inside the large intestine and is washed out of the body with the bowel movement.”
In September 2012, Vibrant announced that it had started conducting a pilot trial of the company’s anti-constipation vibrating capsule. The clinical trial was taking place at two Israeli hospitals among patients with chronic idiopathic constipation. At the time, Vibrant planned to complete the pivotal clinical trial by mid-2013 and obtain the CE mark.
Vibrant’s patent titled “Gastrointestinal capsule” (EP 2073779 A2) describes the capsule as:
“An ingestible gastrointestinal capsule (GIC) for mechanically stimulating a segment of the gastrointestinal (Gl) wall by alternately and repeatedly pressurizing, and/or vibrating it is provided. The GIC is programmed to being activated following a predefined time delay. The activated GIC agitates, shakes, rattles, jolts, vibrates and/or moves in a reciprocal expanding and contracting motion thereby mechanically stimulating the adjacent segment of the Gl wall at a targeted location. Activation of the GIC may include a number of automatically accomplished partial activations, such as when the time elapsed from the moment of setting the GIC on equals a predefined time delay; when the mechanical load applied onto the GIC exceeds, and/or gets lower than a respective predefined level of mechanical load; when the ambient pH reaches a predefined level, or changes, and/or a temperature associated with the user reaches a predefined threshold. Agitation is accomplished by means of agitation means embedded in the GIC. Such agitation means includes an unbalanced weight attached to the shaft of an electric motor, an actuator implemented by, such as an electric solenoid, an electro-active polymer (EAP), a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA), embedded in a GIC of the invention.”