The device, named the Vibrating Ingestible BioElectronic Stimulator (VIBE), is a pill-sized tool created by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and MIT. It is designed to travel safely through the gastrointestinal tract and expand in the stomach by vibrating upon contact with gastric fluid. This vibration stimulates the vagal nerve receptors, creating a sensation of fullness.
The device was tested in swine, resulting in an average 31% reduction in food intake. It remained in the digestive system for about 30 minutes on average, indicating it should be swallowed before meals. The study, published in Science Advances, demonstrates the potential of VIBE as a low-cost, non-invasive intervention to reduce food intake and calorie consumption, offering a new therapeutic option for obesity management. However, further studies are needed to explore its physiological effects before it becomes available for patient use.