A literature review on the Gastrointestinal tract has just been published by the STORM Lab UK in Progress of Biomedical Engineering.
The inspection of the GI tract is fundamental for the early detection and diagnosis of GI diseases. In the last decade, miniaturized robots for gastrointestinal inspection have been investigated with the aim of developing innovative, more sophisticated, and minimally invasive technologies to access this part of the body. Despite much progress, the need for innovation is stronger than ever due to the combination of a growing disease prevalence and the harsh, difficult-to-access environment of the gut. To address limitations and develop innovative and more sophisticated technologies for diagnoses and therapy of the GI tract, capsule engineers need to understand the complex environment of the GI tract. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide engineers in this field a comprehensive reference manual of the GI environment and its complex physical, biological, and chemical characteristics. The work reviews and summarizes a broad spectrum of literature covering the main anatomical and physiological properties; each organ in the GI is discussed in this context, including the main mechanisms of digestion, chemical and mechanical processes that could impact devices, and GI motor behaviour and resultant forces that may be experienced by objects as they move through the environment of the gut.