Helicobacter pylori gastric infections are among the most diffused worldwide, suffering from a rising rate of antibiotic resistance. In this context, some of the authors have previously designed an ingestible device in the form of a luminous capsule to perform antibacterial photodynamic inactivation in the stomach. In this study, the light-emitting capsules were tested to verify the safety of use prior to perform clinical efficacy studies. First, laboratory tests measured the capsule temperature while in function and verified its chemical resistance in conditions mimicking the gastric and gut environments. Second, safety tests in a healthy minipig model were designed and completed, to verify both the capsule integrity and the absence of side effects, associated with its illumination and transit throughout the gastrointestinal tract. To this aim, a capsule administration protocol was defined considering a total of 6 animals with n= 2 treated with 8 capsules, n= 2 treated with 16 capsules and n= 2 controls with no capsule administration. Endoscopies were performed in sedated conditions before-after every capsule administration. Biopsies were taken from the corpus and antrum regions, while the gastric cavity temperature was monitored during illumination. The bench tests confirmed a very good chemical resistance and a moderate (about 3 degrees C) heating of the capsules. The animal trials showed no significant effects on the gastric wall tissues, both visually and histologically, accompanied with overall good animal tolerance to the treatment. The integrity of the administered capsules was verified as well. These encouraging results pose the basis for the definition of successive trials at the clinical level.[GRAPHICS].
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