'Sponge-on-string' might detect Barrett's oesophagus

US researchers say a nurse can administer the test, saving need for endoscopy in some patients

A capsule sponge-on-string (SOS) device that could be administered by a nurse detects biomarkers associated with Barrett's oesophagus, researchers report.

oesophagus, stomach and duodenum illustration

In a previous study the US group identified and validated methylated DNA markers that were candidates for detecting Barrett’s oesophagus.

They pilot-tested the most promising markers for the non-endoscopic diagnosis of the condition, using DNA extracted from cells taken from a 25mm SOS device