Team:UGent2 Belgium/Proof Of Concept

Proof Of Concept

Release of components

To investigate whether our bubble properly releases all its components into the small intestine lumen, we plan to do in vitro studies as dissolution tests and experiments with SHIME (Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem) as the first approach. You can find more details on these experiments on our Engineering page. Using the SHIME allows us to study the interaction between the bubble and the intestinal microbiome. We expect here to see a change in the microbial composition after administering the bubble. 

Uptake Of Components

After releasing the compounds in the small intestine, vitamin B12 and naringenin must be taken up in the bloodstream. As a first model for uptake, we wish to use a 2D eukaryote cell model. We consider the use of Caco-2 cells and T84 cells as a model. Caco-2 cells are widely used in drug permeability and molecule uptake studies, meaning that we could easily compare other experiments in literature. Literature points out that cells are a better representation of the colon environment (Devriese et al., 2017). As a second approach for an adequate uptake model, we could use an organoid model. This 3D model will give more realistic insights into the uptake of the bubble's components in the bloodstream. 

In Vivo Testing

When we optimized our product using the experiments mentioned above, we could proceed with in vivo testing. We would conduct tests involving patients with complaints of depression and compare them with healthy controls. When these tests point out positive, we could be sure that our bubble is effective and a reliable alternative to antidepressants.


Devriese, S., Van den Bossche, L., Van Welden, S., Holvoet, T., Pinheiro, I., Hindryckx, P., De Vos, M., & Laukens, D. (2017). T84 monolayers are superior to Caco-2 as a model system of colonocytes. Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 148(1), 85–93.