Scientists at Strathclyde University have developed hydrogel "bandages" that can be swallowed to provide instant relief from heartburn. Unlike anti-acid tablets, which settle in the stomach and neutralise or otherwise trap stomach acid, the hydrogel coats the throat passage neutralising the acid where it actually burns.
Heartburn, which affects around 40 per cent of Britons, occurs when stomach acid seeps into the oesophagus. The hydrogel is liquid at room temperature but thickens when warmed through ingestion. It sticks to the throat and so remains active for longer, said Clive Wilson who led the Strathclyde team.