Advances in methods to evaluate gastrointestinal transport function

David M. Albin, Kelly A. Tappenden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Malnutrition is a serious problem, and malabsorption of nutrients is believed to be partially responsible for its prevalence. A wide variety of innovative methods have been developed to study gastrointestinal transport function. Some of the first research into gastrointestinal function was conducted in the 1700's with animal and human models. Methodological advancements continue to allow scientists to innovatively assess gastrointestinal function in animal models, cellular preparations and clinical settings. For this update, the methods are divided into in vivo, ex vivo, isolated cells and membranes, and molecular biology approaches. The in vivo methods discussed include animal and human models to measure nutrient disappearance, catheterized animal models, models with isolated intestinal segments, and a new procedure for sampling luminal fluid from patients. The ex vivo approaches discussed obtain measurements with intact tissue, such as the everted sleeves method and Ussing chambers. The utility of novel cellular preparations, membrane fractionation procedures and various molecular biology techniques is included. Various aspects of these methods are evaluated to provide a detailed overview of recent methodological developments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-354
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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