Use of Bioelectronics in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Miller L1, Farajidavar A2, Vegesna A3. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Sep 24. pii: a034165. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a034165. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

1 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New York, New York 11040.

2 School of Engineering & Computing Sciences, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Old Westbury, New York 11568.

3 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health, Manhasset, New York 11030.


Gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders are major contributing factors to functional GI diseases that account for >40% of patients seen in gastroenterology clinics and affect >20% of the general population. The autonomic and enteric nervous systems and the muscles within the luminal GI tract have key roles in motility. In health, this complex integrated system works seamlessly to transport liquid, solid, and gas through the GI tract. However, major and minor motility disorders occur when these systems fail. Common functional GI motility disorders include dysphagia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, functional dyspepsia, gastroparesis, chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, postoperative ileus, irritable bowel syndrome, functional diarrhea, functional constipation, and fecal incontinence. Although still in its infancy, bioelectronic therapy in the GI tract holds great promise through the targeted stimulation of nerves and muscles.

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