In vivo models to evaluate ingestible devices: present status and current trends

Konstantinos Stamatopoulos, Connor O'farrell, Mark Simmons, Hannah Batchelor

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Evaluation of orally ingestible devices is critical to optimize their performance early in development. Using animals as a pre-clinical tool can provide useful information on functionality, yet it is important to recognize that animal gastrointestinal physiology, pathophysiology and anatomy can differ to that in humans and that the most suitable species needs to be selected to inform the evaluation. There has been a move towards in vitro and in silico models rather than animal models in line with the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) as well as the better control and reproducibility associated with these systems. However, there are still instances where animal models provide the greatest understanding.

This paper provides an overview of key aspects of human gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology and compares parameters to those reported in animal species. The value of each species can be determined based upon the parameter of interest from the ingested device when considering the use of pre-clinical animal testing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113915
Number of pages24
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Early online date8 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Colon
  • In vivo model
  • Pre-clinical species
  • Small intestine
  • Stomach


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