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Researchers develop wearable sweat sensor to predict IBD flare-ups

Plus more groundbreaking inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) research presented at the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®.

Bethesda, MD (Jan. 21, 2021) — The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) are committed to improving the lives of millions of Americans living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. That’s why we’ve partnered on the fourth annual Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®, taking place virtually Jan. 21 through 24, 2021. This annual meeting is an opportunity for IBD care providers to gather and learn about the latest advancements in IBD patient care.

Below is a summary of three impactful studies being presented at the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress. To speak with the study authors or review all 145 abstracts being presented, email [email protected].    

Wearable sweat sensor predicts IBD flare-ups
Study title: Wearable sweat sensing device for detection of IBD biomarkers

Presented by Badrinath Jagannath, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas

Significance: IBD flare-ups occur in a random way and current testing methods lack ability for real-time prediction of a flare-up. Building on the knowledge that the levels of cytokines elevate during a flareup, researchers have developed a real-time monitoring device for early detection of flare-ups non-invasively from passive eccrine sweat. The wearable multiplexed ‘SWEATSENSER’ device was developed and tested on 20 healthy human subjects and was effective in detecting IBD biomarkers. This device has great potential as early detection of flare-ups would allow for better patient management.

First study to confirm smoking cigarettes increases risk for colorectal cancer in IBD patients
Study title: Cigarette smoke increases risk for colorectal neoplasia in inflammatory bowel disease

Presented by Kimberley Wilhelmina Johanna Van Der Sloot, University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands

Significance: While cigarette smoke is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer in the general population, its role in colorectal cancer in IBD is unclear. While inflammation is hypothesized to drive an increased risk of colorectal cancer in patients with IBD, the role of smoking on inflammation is divergent, increasing inflammation in Crohn’s disease while leading to a milder disease in ulcerative colitis. This study of 1,386 patients found that in Crohn’s disease patients, active smoking and passive smoking exposure significantly increase risk of colorectal neoplasia, a precursor to colorectal cancer. For ulcerative colitis patients, former smoking increased risk of colorectal neoplasia, whereas passive smoke exposure yielded no effect. This study is the first to describe the important role cigarette smoke plays in colorectal neoplasia development in IBD patients and can greatly improve current risk-stratification models used in colorectal cancer surveillance, especially for patients with Crohn’s disease.

Diet influences the gut microbiome of children with Crohn’s disease
Study title: Dietary inflammatory potential and food patterns in relation to gut microbiome among children with Crohn’s disease: A comparative study with healthy controls

Presented by Jessica Breton, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Significance: The microbiome has often been suggested as an important part in the development and progression of Crohn’s disease with a Western diet, in turn, potentially altering the gut microbiome. This is the largest study to assess dietary choices and the effects of diet quality on the gut microbiome in children with Crohn’s disease. The results suggest important differential dietary influences on the gut microbiome according to clinical disease status, with low-quality diet and higher proinflammatory potential being associated with overall lower microbiome diversity in inactive Crohn’s disease. Interestingly, they also found an enrichment in Proteobacteria, specifically E. coli, in children with active Crohn’s disease. Continued research will shed light on the underlying diet-microbiota interactions implicated in Crohn’s disease and lead to better clinical nutrition guidance for this patient population. 

Five additional abstracts to note:

  • SARS-COV-2 infection and seroconversion in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease patients: presented by Wenly Ruan, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Dietary fiber guar gum exacerbates colonic inflammation in multiple experimental models of inflammatory bowel disease: presented by Divek V.T. Nair, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Machine learning for Crohn’s disease phenotype modeling using biopsy images: presented by Sana Syed, University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Low dose IL-2 for the treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis: presented by Jessica R. Allegretti, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Self-compassion in adolescents and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease: Relationship of self-compassion to psychological and physical outcomes: presented by Nicole Ruth Neiman, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, Stanford University School of Medicine

To review any of these abstracts or see the full abstract book, email [email protected].  

All abstracts presented at the meeting will be published in online supplements to Gastroenterology and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.


Media contacts:
Courtney Reed, [email protected], 301-272-0025
Jeanine Kober, [email protected], 646-943-7481

About the Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®

The Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®, taking place virtually Jan. 21-24, 2021, combines the strengths of the nation’s leading IBD patient organization, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, and the premier GI professional association, American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Together we are committed to convening the greatest minds in IBD to transform patient care. The Crohn’s & Colitis Congress is the must-attend meeting for all IBD professionals. Learn more at

About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the leading non-profit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The Foundation’s mission is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with IBD. Our work is dramatically accelerating the research process through our database and investment initiatives; we also provide extensive educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, or email [email protected].

About the AGA Institute 

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization.

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