Excreta-sampling toilet for automated analysis

Value Proposition

Personalized medicine and individualized health tracking are becoming more and more prevalent in society. Urine and feces are commonly analyzed in clinical settings, yet home analysis of these waste products remains elusive. The information contained in human waste can contribute to the detection of immune disorders, infections, and cancers. Early detection of these diseases may increase patient outcomes and decrease healthcare costs. A main barrier to the monitoring and use of these samples for health and wellness monitoring is the reluctance of users to participate in sample collection (i.e., the “ick factor.) Current methods of stool collection involve defecating into a collection device, then transporting that device to a lab or doctor’s office. Other methods involve swabbing stool samples and sending them off to a lab to be collected. All of these methods involve some sort of hands on contribution by the user, thereby increasing the likelihood for error or mishandling.


This invention involves a sample extraction and preparation device that integrates with a normal toilet. The toilet is unchanged, while the sample extractor is attached to the plumbing. The sample is collected without any intervention by the patient, and is therefore a completely hands-off process. After extraction the sample is automatically packaged on a suitable substrate or container facilitating preparation for further analysis.

Other Applications

This invention could aid in the collection of samples in hospitals.


  • Current stool collection is a demanding, hands-on process for the user.
  • This invention fits with existing toilet devices to collect and package fecal and urine samples for analysis, removing user contact, and streamlining sample collection.

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Grego, Sonia
  • Coggan, Peter
  • Glass, Jeffrey
  • Hawkins, Brian
  • Sellgren, Katelyn
  • Stoner, Brian
  • Stoner, Mikayla

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Pratt School of Engineering