In England alone over 27,000 children every year go to hospital because of their constipation. Managing these children is challenging and based mostly on symptom reports. An objective measure of the time food takes to travel through the gut (the ‘gut transit time’) could help doctors make a more informed, early selection of therapy. However the gut transit time is very often not tested since current X-ray methods are unable to define the colon anatomy well due to overlapping colon loops. They also provide a radiation dose, which is not suitable for young patients.

We invented a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method to measure gut transit time. This uses inert mini-capsules, smaller than tic-tac sweets. From the MRI images one can see how far the mini-capsules have travelled through the gut, which indicates the gut transit time.

MRI is harmless and can be used safely in young patients and time and time again if necessary to follow up response to treatment. The type of MRI required is widely available and our mini-capsules can be used in hospitals everywhere.

Thanks to NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) funding we have now manufactured the new mini-capsules and we started the first clinical study in paediatric constipation.


May 2018 – The MAGIC clinical study is running !

Apr 2018 – Our YPAG in collaboration with experts at Nottingham Trent University have scripted, produced and provided the voices for our two fabulous animated video information sheets , one featuring our curious beans Beanlock and Botson!! We obtained Ethics approvals and put them on YouTube. Please go and watch them at: