Chronic constipation is one of the most common health complaints in our community. While a variety of drugs have been developed to combat the problem, they rarely work well and often cause a range of unwanted side effects.
Flinders University’s Professor Nick Spencer has been awarded a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to investigate the potential of using optogenetics to improve our understanding of how the gut works.
Optogenetics uses light to stimulate neurons in the wall of the gut, with the aim of increasing the ability of the muscles to work more effectively in propelling content through the system.
Professor Spencer’s research could help develop a new approach to improving the effectiveness of the large intestine to expel content and reduce constipation.
This research is made possible thanks to a generous supporter and generous donations from the community.
Project title: Use of wireless optogenetics to improve gastrointestinal transit in conscious mammals
Lead Researcher: Professor Nick Spencer
Flinders Foundation acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the land on which the Flinders precinct was established. We acknowledge the Kaurna people’s deep and ongoing connection to land, waters and community, and pay our respect to their Elders, past and present.