13 November 2023
by Hassan Akhtar

Smart endotracheal tube set for human trials

The University of Nottingham, UK, has secured £1.1mln in funding from the Medical Research Council for smart endotracheal tubes.

© Unsplash/Robina Weermeijer

Endotracheal tubes are placed in the wind pipe of patients to maintain an open airway, with a cuff (balloon) inflated at the trachea to create a gas seal. An incorrect seal can cause ventilator-associate pneumonia (VAP) when pressure is low and pressure injury when high.

The optical-fibre-sensor-equipped endotracheal tube (iTraXS) claims to solve incorrect pressure at cuff inflation.

Professor Steve Morgan, Co-Director of the Centre for Healthcare Technologies and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Nottingham, says, ‘iTraXS aims to solve this real-world challenge by preventing pressure injuries to the airway and assisting with monitoring these vital signs. The sensors can identify when the ETT has been incorrectly placed.’

VAP increases the likelihood of death, affecting up to 20% of people in intensive care, and costs the NHS between £10,000 and £20,000 per patient.

iTraXS has been developed in collaboration with P3 Medical Ltd, a Bristol-based manufacturer of endotracheal tubes, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), CHEATA, Bluefrog Design Ltd and Derby Clinical Trials Support Unit

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Hassan Akhtar