Development of a mechatronics weight loss pill
Andy Prima Kencana
Date of Issue2010
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Robotics Research Centre
This thesis introduces a mechatronics based weight loss system for Intragastric Balloon (IGB) treatment. IGB is a weight loss treatment in which a gas (or liquid)-filled balloon is inserted into the stomach cavity in order to occupy stomach volume and trigger the feeling of satiety. Therefore, it facilitates the patient to reduce the food intake, and hence the patient can lose weight more effectively and naturally. This treatment has demonstrated its effectiveness in promoting weight loss. However, the current treatment has two major drawbacks. First, it requires a set of insertion tools and an endoscopic system for placement of the balloon, control of its inflation and deflation and its removal. These procedures would cause discomfort to the patient. Second, it inflicts some complications due to patient intolerance to the weight and volume of the IGB. The proposed system aims to demonstrate a remote-controlled IGB inflation and deflation mechanism so that the treatment could be performed without the necessity of any insertion tool/tube. The mechanism also provides volume adjustment capability that could improve patient tolerance. It is hoped that the proposed system could reduce the discomfort experienced by the patient and increase the effectiveness of the IGB treatment. In order to achieve this objective, the system is designed to comprise of the inflation/deflation mechanism, wireless communication unit, micro-controller, and battery. The inflation mechanism utilizes gas generating reaction of acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate that generate CO2 gas. Three prototypes were designed and fabricated. The prototypes have demonstrated the feasibility of the mechanism to inflate a latex balloon (130-200 ml) in ex-vivo, in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. However in due to the dimension of the wireless communication unit, the system was unable to be inserted through the mouth. Therefore, a miniaturized ingestible prototype measuring 16.50 mm outer diameter and 50 mm length has been built and tested in ex-vivo experiments. Experiments on pigs will be conducted to test the efficacy of weight loss of the IGB device. Currently there is insufficient research to determine the IGB volume that will provide the optimized feeling of satiety; the proposed system has the potential to conduct this research further.