MIT engineers developed a vibrating pill tricking the stomach into feeling full, an ingestible capsule that might help treat obesity.
Engineers have created a vibrating pill that you can swallow before a meal to make you feel full faster. When you sallow a vibrating capsule, it triggers sensors in your stomach, fooling your brain into thinking you’ve eaten enough. Just like drinking water before a meal, the capsule’s vibrations activate stretch receptors, creating a false sensation of fullness.
In tests on animals, taking the pill 20 minutes before eating led to the release of hormones that signal satiety and a 40% reduction in food intake.
While more research is needed, this innovation could potentially provide a non-invasive solution for treating obesity in the future.
“For somebody who wants to lose weight or control their appetite, it could be taken before each meal,” says Shriya Srinivasan PhD ’20, a former MIT graduate student and postdoc who is now an assistant professor of bioengineering at Harvard University. “This could be really interesting in that it would provide an option that could minimize the side effects that we see with the other pharmacological treatments out there.”