Pioneering work from the Weizmann Institute of Science (link) has shown that different individuals respond differently to the same foods. This work has ignited a new wave of nutritional sciences and created the concept of “personalized nutrition”.
A major reason that the response to diet is individual is that each person hosts a unique composition of gut bacteria, which in turn determines how food is metabolized and how the resulting metabolites are made available to the host. These findings have been made possible thanks to novel technologies which are able to capture high resolution diet-related biomarkers.
These technologies include the digital tracking of food intake, metagenomics and continuous glucose monitoring. While the glucose and insulin response to diet is undoubtedly highly valuable in settings linked to insulin imbalance (diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity etc), there are other impacts of diet on the host that are not captured by just measuring glucose and insulin.
Clinical and preclinical work suggests that the immune system and inflammatory response is key to the physiological response to diet: not only are they involved in responding to environmental toxins or bacteria contained in food, but also in regulating the metabolism of nutrients such as lipids etc.
Having a system at hand that continuously monitors dynamic inflammation markers in large clinical cohorts would greatly increase our understanding of the impact of individual diets on disease, both chronic and otherwise.
Seerave Foundation is performing a technical feasibility study for the development of a biosensor to allow for continuous inflammation monitoring. The ultimate goal is to develop a portable sensor with a system architecture to measure the concentration of a single inflammatory marker (use cases similar to commercially available continuous glucose monitors). Seerave is collaborating with Helbling, an independent and world leading engineering firm with expertise in the technology and product development of medical grade, point-of-care diagnostic devices. Helbling will contribute the technological and product engineering perspective to Seerave’s feasibility assessment of appropriate biomarkers. Specifically, the goals of the study are:
- Assess which biomarker/s may be suitable for measuring dynamic inflammatory responses to a changing environment such as diet and exercise.
- Assess which sensor technologies could be suitable to measure such biomarkers.
- Draft potential system architectures and their development roadmaps. A decision on how to proceed will be taken once these goals have been met.
Theoretical feasibility phase concluded