Human intestinal gas measurement systems: in vitro fermentation and gas capsules

Trends Biotechnol. 2015 Apr;33(4):208-13. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2015.02.002. Epub 2015 Mar 12.


The biological and clinical significance of the human gut microbiome is currently attracting worldwide attention. While rRNA and DNA technologies led to a quantum leap in our understanding of the numbers and types of gut microorganisms, much less is known about these microorganisms' activity in situ and in real time. Accurately measuring their byproducts, including intestinal gases, may offer unique biomarkers for specific gut microbiota, accelerating our understanding of the relationships among intestinal gases, the metabolic activity of the gut microbiome, and human health states. Here we present two novel techniques, namely in vitro fermentation and gas capsule systems, for measuring and assessing selected gas species. We discuss new developments with these technologies and the methods of their implementation and provide an overall review of their operation.

Keywords: gas capsule; gut microbiome; in vitro fermentation; intestinal gas; therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breath Tests
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Digestive System
  • Equipment Design
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Fermentation
  • Gases / analysis*
  • Gases / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / chemistry
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota / physiology*
  • Spectrum Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods
  • Swine


  • Gases