Measurement of Muscular Activity Associated With Peristalsis in the Human Gut Using Fiber Bragg Grating Arrays
Blenman, Neil G
Underhill, Ian D
Maunder, Simon A
Spencer, Nicholas John
Szczesniak, Michal Marcin
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Diagnostic catheters based on fibre Bragg gratings (FBG’s) are proving to be highly effective for measurement of the muscular activity associated with peristalsis in the human gut. The primary muscular contractions that generate peristalsis are circumferential in nature; however, it has long been known that there is also a component of longitudinal contractility present, acting in harmony with the circumferential component to improve the overall efficiency of material movement. We report on the development of, and latest results from, catheter based sensors capable of detecting both forms of muscular activity. While detection of the circumferential contractions has been possible using solid state, hydraulic, and pneumatic sensor arrays in the oesophagus and anorectum, FBG based devices allow access into the complex and convoluted regions of the gut below the stomach. We report early results from FBG catheters used during trials of novel therapies in patients with both slow transit constipation and faecal incontinence. In addition, there have been relatively few reports on the measurement or inference of longitudinal contractions in humans. This is due to the lack of a viable recording technique suitable for real-time in-vivo measurement of this type of activity over extended lengths of the gut. We report preliminary data on the detection of longitudinal motion in lengths of excised mammalian colon using an FBG technique that should be viable for similar detection in humans. The longitudinal sensors have been combined with pressure sensing elements to form a composite catheter that allows the relative phase between the two components to be detected. The output of both types of catheter has been validated using digital video mapping in an ex-vivo animal preparation using lengths of rabbit ileum.
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