The new kit is an effective tool for sampling rectal mucosa, which can be used to study the gut microbiome and how it correlates with factors such as treatments, diet and disease.

The mucosal samples obtained using the kit comprises established community of bacteria inhabiting the gut, including the same spectrum of bacteria as stool samples.

According to the firm, the mucosal samples collected using OriCol research kit show an increased bacterial diversity and an enrichment of mucosal associated phyla.

Origin Sciences CEO Paul Weinberger said: "The microbiome is a growing area of research interest for the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries and has seen significant investment.

"However, it is a particularly challenging area to work in, and new tools and techniques are required.

"By using the OriCol microbiome research kit, researchers can get better data, and improve their research, while also making sample collection less of a challenge for patients and researchers."

In 2014, the firm launched OriCol, a sampling device for investigating gastrointestinal (GI) disease.

The device, which received CE mark approval, collects biologically informative samples containing a range of biomarkers to enable clinical analysis and research into GI conditions.

Since 2014, the company is involved in developing and commercializing its diagnostic technology.