Can a model of the stomach predict how well new medicines might work? Elizabeth Tracey reports


A new computer model of the stomach and how well pills dissolve in it has been developed by engineers at Johns Hopkins, led by Rajat Mittal. Mittal says work so far with the model, called ‘StomachSim,’ has opened his eyes to the central role the organ plays in human health.

Rajat Mittal: Engineers like me have very little to say about diseases like diabetes, obesity, nutrition, and of course the nexus for all of these things is the stomach. What you eat is what makes you in some sense. And vis a vis how the digestive system works certainly plays a central role. It has very direct applications to everybody. Everybody takes some pill at some point in their life. And trying to replace to some degree experimental testing and human testing and animal testing.  :29

Early findings from using the model demonstrate that posture plays an important role when it comes to how well medicines dissolve in the stomach. Mittal believes these findings may inform design of new pills going forward. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.