A novel method for collecting microbiome specimens: proof of concept in normal healthy volunteers

This study demonstrated proof of concept that the RSS capsule can successfully collect a site-specific sample of live microbiome organisms from the intestine.

Our current understanding of intestinal microbiota is limited due to inaccessibility and lack of appropriate methods for direct sampling and analysis. Microbiome analysis using fecal samples may not provide an accurate representation of the microbial composition in the more proximal regions of the large intestine, which is likely due to the inclusion of dead organisms from the upper respiratory tract and the gut.

Our Recoverable Sampling System (RSS) capsule under development includes proprietary localization, sampling, and preservation systems that allow for the noninvasive sampling of intestinal fluid while the capsule passes naturally through the GI tract. The device can recognize anatomical features within the GI tract and samples intestinal fluid at a pre-programmed, targeted location, such as the proximal large intestine.

What did we find?

Comparison of results between intestinal fluid specimens and conventional fecal samples showed a distinct separation of microbial diversity, indicating that the RSS is collecting a unique, site-specific sample.

The study suggests that samples from distinct locations in the GI tract can be different from fecal samples and may offer unique insights into microbiome research.

This device has potentially enormous implications for the microbiome field as a non-invasive, anatomical, site-specific collection method which may provide more insight on specific drug targets in the intestine.1

Poster presented at Digestive Disease Week 2022, May 24, 2022

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  1. Rahimian P, Lee SN, Quintana N, et al. A novel method for collecting microbiome specimens: proof of concept in normal healthy volunteers. Poster presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 21-24, 2022, San Diego, CA.