In silico modelling of mass transfer & absorption in the human gut

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

An in silico model has been developed to investigate the digestion and absorption of starch and glucose in the small intestine. The main question we are aiming to address is the relative effect of gastric empting time and luminal viscosity on the rate of glucose absorption. The results indicate that all factors have a significant effect on the amount of glucose absorbed. For low luminal viscosities (e.g. lower than 0.1 Pas) the rate of absorption is controlled by the gastric emptying time. For viscosities higher than 0.1 Pas a 10 fold increase in viscosity can result in a 4 fold decrease of glucose absorbed. Our model, with the simplifications used to develop it, indicate that for high viscosity luminal phases, gastric emptying rate is not the controlling mechanism for nutrient availability. Developing a mechanistic model could help elucidate the rate limiting steps that control the digestion process.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-120
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
Volume176
Early online date23 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • In silico modelling, human gut, glucose absorption, mass transfer, gastric emptying