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While conducting pharmaceutical and nutritional research, it’s important to know how drug dosages or food products behave in the gastrointestinal tract. Ideally, this research will be done in a timely, cost-effective manner before clinical studies are performed. To justify expensive, clinical studies, researchers can use tiny-TIM, an in vitro model, to mimic realistic gastrointestinal conditions.

The tiny-TIM system is a dynamic in vitro gastrointestinal model equipped with an advanced gastric compartment and a small intestinal compartment. The applications of tiny-TIM include:

Pharmaceutical Applications

  • Dosage form testing on the release, dissolution, and bioaccessibility of active pharmaceutical ingredients under fasted and fed-state conditions
  • Bio-equivalence studies
  • Drug-drug and drug-nutrient interactions
  • Proof-of-concept studies

Nutritional Applications

  • Digestibility of single ingredients or complex meals
    • Protein quality (DIAAS)
    • Carbohydrates (glycemic response)
    • Fats
  • Bioaccessibility of micronutrients or phytochemicals safety assessment studies


  • Eliminates ethical constraints
  • Settings for adults, children & animals
  • Simple, user-friendly operation
  • Easy-to-use graphical touch screen
  • Bench-top system
  • Increased reproducibility versus in vivo studies
  • Fast and cost-efficient way to conduct research
  • System’s high predictive quality documented in more than 230 peer-reviewed publications

Tiny-TIM includes 3 modules

Gastrointestinal Module

  • Compartments simulate the shape and motility of the stomach and small intestine
  • Computerized peristaltic pump transports gastric content into small intestinal compartment

Dispensing Module

  • Pumps secretion fluids into GI compartments & fresh filtration/dialysis fluids through membrane units
  • Syringe pump dispenses fluids with high accuracy
  • 100mL graduated syringes allow for direct visual monitoring of dispensed volumes

Sampling Module

  • Sampling bottles collect filtrate or dialysis fluid from small intestinal compartment
  • Controlled, FMI pump fills bottle with pre-determined weight of sample
  • Different holders allow for various number of bottles and sampling sizes

About the Author

Jim Mortimer

Jim Mortimer

Jim Mortimer is the current CEO of Nova Biostorage+.