Malnutrition is a modern and global health challenge, affecting one in three people. Environmental factors asimbalanced intake of essential nutrients, like dietary fibers, and the lack of personalized patient-centered care or genetical factors can lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a multifactorial family of gut related diseases, that affects 10 million people worldwide. To tackle this major issue, we are developing.
Amalthea is a complete, personalized, modular platform, which provides diagnosis,
evaluation of the gut flora and treatment of IBD. A non-invasive encapsulated
detection module, consisting of a genetically engineered bacteria-based system and
an electronic system, will identify metabolite deficiencies directly correlated to IBD.
Εxploiting a bio-electronic interface to enable real-time monitoring on the patient’s
smartphone.Based on this personalized data, a biosynthesis module will respond
with selective production of the missing metabolites, thus eliminating that
nutritional deficit and relieving the patient from the symptoms. Our product is
designed in conjunction with healthcare experts and according to international
standards, to ensure biosafety. With this work, we aspire to provide cost-efficient
and innovative solutions for detecting intestinal deformities and improving the gut
microbiome, while facilitating one of humans’ essential needs – to enjoy one’s food.
The horn of Amalthea
Ιn English known as cornucopia, is the symbol of abundance, goods, and prosperity
It refers to the broken horn of the goat Amalthea, who nursed Zeus, when his
mother, Rhea, hid him in Mount Ida (Psiloritis), in order to save him from the bulimic
tendencies of his father, Kronos. The nurse Amalthea raised Zeus with milk and
honey. While playing with her, Zeus accidently broke her horn. In order to amend
himself he bestowed upon it the gift of abundance. Her horn was the source of
Zeus’s power and provided him with the essential nutrients to grow up, in order to
dethrone his father and become the Greatest Of All Times.
A serious problem in today’s world.
Deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients
affect 2 billion people globally. Malnutrition is often mistaken for undernutrition,
while there are 2 other basic groups of conditions; micronutrient-related
malnutrition and overweight/obesity. It can cause an inability to absorb nutrients,
which can lead to chronic diseases, such as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
(IBDs). Disorders that further aggravate the problem, creating a vicious cycle. A
common occurrence in up to 70% of patients with active disease and up to 38% of
patients in remission and having been associated with increased hospitalizations
and poor clinical outcome.
IBD is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation
of the digestive tract. The two main types of IBD include Ulcerative colitis and
Crohn's disease. All over the world the number of IBDs’ cases is estimated to be
around 10 million (3.4 million in Europe and more specifically 10.000 in Greece).
Diagnosis and treatment are complex due to the fact that the clinical picture differs
in every single case. A challenging task we have to face is the fact that there is no
confirmed medication that cures completely or doesn’t cause side reactions.
It is a complete, personalized, modular platform, which enables real time monitoring
of the function of gut microbiota for
● non-invasive diagnosis and
● tailored treatment of IBDs.
This year we build the monitoring system, a capsule hosting a bio-electronic
interface. Bacteria engineered to detect the molecular footprint of gut microbiota
are combined with an electronic module to digitalize and transmit the data.
We want to enable physicians to better accommodate their patients’ needs,
primarily those who suffer from IBDs, contributing to the improvement of their well-
being and quality of life.
Due to various parameters the interaction between the capsule, the genetically
engineered bacteria, and human cells, faces many safety, security, and ethical risks.
So, we designed two levels of safety to prevent any biological hazards.