Rice Stim Pill: We Move Stuff



Member profile details

Membership level
2018-2019 Team
Team Name
Rice Stim Pill: We Move Stuff
Project Title
Design Challenge
After any type of abdominal surgery many patients worldwide experience postoperative ileus, a condition that ceases the motility of the GI tract. This causes increased hospital stays as well as a great deal of discomfort for patients. The Rice Stimpill team seeks to find an innovative approach to relieve the symptoms of postoperative ileus and restore GI motility through the use of direct muscle stimulation.
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Design Summary
In order to solve the problem of postoperative ileus the Rice Stimpill team developed an indigestible device that provides direct electrical stimulation to the walls of the small intestine. In order to test various electrical waveforms for their effect on the small intestine, an animal study was performed using a porcine model in November of 2018. The results of the animal study provided three high potential waveforms from which the team selected the most promising to focus on with their design.T he team then proceeded to design an intermediate form of the device with a low fidelity mechanical prototype attached to external electrical hardware through a tether wire. The team used this prototype to preform four ex-vivo tests on porcine intestines to verify that the physical design of the device would make sufficient contact within the intestines and that all waveforms were being delivered correctly. During the final ex-vivo experiment the team was able to procure intestines that were still active and were able to show that their device managed to propagate itself through the intestines by generating localized contractions. Moving forward the team created a higher fidelity mechanical prototype using stainless steel electrodes. The team also created a customized PCB utilizing a MSP430 microcontroller to manage the delivery of their waveform. The team was able to combine their mechanical and electrical designs into a fully wireless pill that was able to successfully deliver their desired waveform. Moving forward the design of the device needs to be further miniaturized to facilitate ingestion. In addition the device will have to be manufactured using higher quality biocompatible materials, and more in-vivo animal testing will need to be conducted to further validate the device before moving to file for a patent.
Date Updated
Monday, April 29, 2019
Allotrope Medical
  • Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Sabia Abidi
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • BIOE

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