Gastrointestinal system

Researchers are looking at developing tools and techniques to improve our understanding of the gastrointestinal system.

Endoscopic devices to record electrical activity from the stomach.

The major functions of the gastrointestinal (GI) system include ingestion, digestion, absorption, excretion and protection. These important and sophisticated functions are coordinated via a number of different organs and over a range of length and time scales.

Our aim

Our group aims to use a combination of experimental measurements and mathematical modelling to integrate physiological processes and clinical observations at the cell, tissue, organ and body levels. Through this process we are improving our understanding of the GI system in health and disease.

Research questions

  • Can we develop non-invasive tools for accurately diagnosing the electrical dysfunction associated with various forms of severe indigestion?
    We have developed techniques for high-resolution mapping of gut electrophysiology, including automated signal processing and model-based analysis and visualisation software. We are now in the exciting phase of applying all of this to clinical practice.  
Setup to determine the relationship between electrical signals and mechanical contractions.


Torso tank setup used to correlate electrical recordings between the stomach and skin surface.

International linkages

  • Belgium: Université libre de Bruxelles
  • US: Mayo Clinic, University of Louisville, New York Institute of Technology, Washington & Lee University and Vanderbilt University