Development of the Dynamic Gastric Model

Lead Research Organisation: Quadram Institute Bioscience
Department Name: Food and Health

Abstract

The Dynamic Gastric Model (DGM) is a physical apparatus which accurately simulates the physical and biochemical processes that occur within the human stomach. It allows samples to be taken at any stage of digestion, which would be difficult, expensive and ethically challenging in humans or animals. The DGM is based on 15 years of research including human validation studies using MRI to determine the physical behaviour of the human stomach during digestion.
We now need to clearly demonstrate how well it simulates the availability of nutrients or drugs in humans, and to refine the model so that it can be more widely used, and therefore reduce the reliance on expensive animal and human studies. The model will also be further developed to enable studies that would not be permitted in humans; for instance, the impact of taking drugs with alcohol, or the development of an infant formulation.
These outcomes will significantly improve the commercial and scientific potential of the DGM.
 
Description One of the main findings currently arising from this work is that the Dynamic Gastric Model is a more accurate way of investigating how the presence of food, particularly complex meals, influence the bioavailability of active ingredients such as drugs, compared to simple dissolution tests. certainly the difference between the fed and fasted states is more accurately predicted. Additionally, work looking at the effect of alcohol on drug release also shows good correlation with human studies, particularly for poorly soluble drugs, where the presence of alcohol can affect solubility. However, the ethical aspects of animal and human studies involving high doses of alcohol is questionable, therefore the Gastric Model offers a valuable alternative, without ethical implications. Currently, raw data acquired from human studies is being compared with the model data from the dynamic gastric model to quantify its accuracy for predicting drug uptake.
Through a BBSRC grant with Kings College London, we successfully demonstrated the mechanisms underpinning the observations of post prandial blood lipid appearance kinetics in a human study, and showed how this is largely a matrix effect which delayed gastric emptying of lipids driven by the physical properties of the lipids used in the test meals. These findings are currently being prepared for publication.
Exploitation Route This research will offer a range of protocols for in vitro digestion methods which will more accurately account for the release and uptake of drugs and other bioactive compounds in the presence and absence of food.
The model is currently being improved for use as an academic research tool to further understand the digestion of food structures and the impact on health.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description A number of technical reports have been produced as a result of this project. Some are confidential, but details specific protocols to determine the release of bioactives from foods during in vitro digestions, the in vivo, in vitro correlations describing drug absorption. This has informed the modification to the model, which is currently being developed further as a research tool at the Institute of Food Research, and further outputs from this research will be used to offer supporting evidence of the usefulness of the device for future commercialisation. The findings and expertise developed have led to work on the current ISP Food Innovation and Health to determine the influence of food structure on gastric digestion. The outputs also led to the acquisition of a further grant, The health impact of industrial interesterification of dietary fats (BB/N02110X/1) led by Kings College London. Here the DGM successfully validated the findings of a human study ran at Kings looking at the health impact of interesterified fats. The human study showed that the kinetics of appearance of dietary lipids was affected by the phase behaviour (solid fat content) of the test meals. The DGM experiments demonstrated that this was in fact due to differences in phase separation behaviour between the different types of fats / oils. The fats with the higher solid fat contents were more strongly integrated with the food matrix, leading to mass phase separation and a later emptying of nutrients from the stomach. Currently three manuscripts are in preparation for submission focussing on either the in vivo or in vitro studies. The DGM is also providing results for a Danish Government project (Strucsat) and other commercial (confidential) projects in the area of food structure and digestion. In addition, Plant Bioscience Ltd (the licence holder for the DGM) and TWI Ltd are currently in the process of building another bespoke DGM for an academic research group, using results from this project to modify and improve the design of the device.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description BBSRC DRINC
Amount £675,219 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/N02110X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 06/2019
 
Description Presentation to Norwich Research Park Diet and Health Tea Club 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of the food structure research to the Norwich Research Park Diet and Health Tea Club. This group is formed of researchers and clinicians from the Norwich Research Park, to disseminate and communicate developments in diet and health research and to foster collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public lecture and Discussion Eaton Summer Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture and discussion session as part of the Eaton Summer Programme in Norwich in August 2018. Talk entitled "Are your eyes bigger than your belly? The science behind controlling digestion and reducing appetite"
Aimed to educate the public on the role of food structure on digestion and health outcomes. To inform of the developments with the new Quadram Institute aims and research objectives. Enter into a discussion with the audience regarding the health benefits of certain foods and the role of processing, preparation and structure on nutrient availability.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Public lecture to local members of the University of the Third Age 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture organised for members of the University of the third age held at Quadram Institute, Norwich to disseminate and inform of the research activities and outputs of the Institute in the area of food structure and health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Public lecture to the North Norfolk National Trust Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public lecture to the North Norfolk National Trust society to communicate some of the research activities of the Institute as part of our outreach activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016