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SBIR Phase I: Active Device for Reliable Cleaning of Feeding Tubes

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Actuated Medical, Inc.
310 Rolling Ridge Drive Bellefonte, PA 16823-8445
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: SBIR Phase I: Active Device for Reliable Cleaning of Feeding Tubes
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0810029
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop the Tube-Clear device to remove clots from feeding tubes. In excess of 411,000 people receive feeding tubes annually in the United States. Feeding tubes become a requirement when critically ill and compromised patients lose the ability to swallow, but still need nutrients or medication. Clogging is a significant problem in the treatment of these patients, leading to time without nutrients or medication. While several approaches exist for clot removal, none are 100% successful, and when they fail, an uncomfortable and expensive process is required to replace the tube. Existing processes for cleaning feeding tubes can be time consuming, even when they succeed. With the aging population, a more reliable device to remove clots becomes critical. This SBIR Phase I program will develop the Tube-Clear, an activated device, to pass into a feeding tube and break up food clots, quickly and reliably, without removing or damaging the feeding tube. The Tube-Clear will ease the burden on nursing staff and patients dealing with the frustration of clogged feeding tubes. The anticipated selling price would be $35 with a reusable control unit selling for $300. Anticipated volume would be 2,000 per year. The effect of pricing on market acceptance will be studied in more detail in Phase II. In addition to the market for cleaning feeding tubes, PRII believes our technology can be extended to cleaning of other medical devices and tubes, such as catheters and endoscopes for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) and drain tubes. Markets for these devices are in the hundreds of thousands to millions of units per year. Nursing experts have expressed that the Tube-Clear device would be a significant advance in dealing with clogged feeding tubes.

Principal Investigator:

Roger B. Bagwell

Business Contact:

Roger B. Bagwell
Small Business Information at Submission:

Piezo Resonance Innovations, Inc.
310 Rolling Ridge Drive Bellefonte, PA 16823

EIN/Tax ID: 208111286
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No