Gastrointestinal Motility: Kinematic Properties of Segmentation Contraction

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Lamarca, Morgan
Hu, David
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The kinematic processes of the small intestine play integral roles in overseeing the digestion and transportation of food throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Specifically responsible for governing the flow and digestion of chyme along the gastrointestinal tract are the two fundamental patterns of motility, propulsion and mixing [1]. While peristalsis is the principle muscle contraction for propulsive motility, segmentation contractions are responsible for mixing and chopping the chyme [2]. Previous studies on the contraction kinematics of the small intestine have provided evidence that contraction frequencies alter in response to different types of food. We propose that the pattern of segmental contraction varies in response to the different compositions of intraluminal contents as well. As the composition of chyme alters and it becomes less dense, segmental contraction frequency increases as a response. Our in vivo observational technique conducted on the small intestine of male Sprague-Dawley rats is much less invasive than previous studies, thus allowing us to better quantify the kinematic properties of the small intestine, such as frequency and amplitude of contraction. Understanding and comparing essential patterns of motility across patients can improve medical diagnostics as well as the manufacturing of food supplements and pharmaceutical medications.
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