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Chest Tube Stabilization

TAO has obtained rights in an exciting new technology to significantly reduce the complications with suturing drainage tubes in the hundreds of thousands of thoracostomy procedures conducted each year.

During trauma or after thoracic surgeries, a physician performs a thoracostomy procedure requiring a special suturing technique to hold the drainage tube in the thoracic cavity to drain fluid from the chest cavity. These tubes are placed in millions of procedures annually around the world.

The technique is difficult and often leads to complications in hundreds of thousands of procedures a year. Good non-adhesive solutions do not exist in the market.

TAO and its partners, Clemson University and Greenville Hospital System, are completing the in vivo studies of a new Class II device that will stabilize the chest tube and significantly reduce complications from inserting the drainage tubes in thoracostomy procedures. The device arose from an innovative program at Clemson University that pairs groups of senior bioengineering students with physicians. These teams identify a problem through a year long funded activity with faculty support, and produce solutions and prototypes for development and testing. The Chest Tube Stabilization Device team, consisting of Clemson students Carly Atwood, Lauren Eskew, Brennen Jenkins, and Breanne Przestrzelski and surgeons John C. Chandler and Robert Gates of Greenville Hospital, has won numerous national awards including First Place at the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) BMEStart Competition.   A short video prepared by the students can be seen here:

TAO is currently refining the design of the device and evaluating the performance of prototypes in a clinical setting.