Design of a Bladder Clot Removal Device


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Membership level
2013-2014 Team
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Team Name
Project Title
Design of a Bladder Clot Removal Device
Design Challenge
Bladder clots affect 7% of the US population. Untreated bladder clots are extremely painful, can impede the passage of urine, and ultimately lead to kidney failure. Due to the large size of these clots, they cannot be removed easily without major surgery. We strive to develop a minimally invasive, transurethral device that can accurately detect the presence of clots, effectively dissolve them, and efficiently evacuate them. Our solution will revolutionize bladder clot removal for adult men and women to minimize urinary complications.
Design Summary
Team Evacuator has been tasked with developing a device that can remove large blood clots from the bladder for adult men and women. Our goal at the end of the Capstone Design Course is to fabricate a working prototype inserted through the urethra that can accurately detect the presence of clots, effectively fragment them, and efficiently remove these clots, while maintaining the safety of the bladder wall. We will use Jell-O and latex balloons as our test representation for the blood clot and bladder, respectively.

Our solution to the problem is the ClotSlayer. The ClotSlayer is a rotary device that consists of a stainless steel rod and superelastic nitinol wire loops. When operated, the nitinol wires create a whisking motion inside the bladder, allowing for fast and effective disruption through 1) the physical contact of the blood clots with the disruption wires and 2) the swirling vortex generated from the whisking motion inside the bladder. The ClotSlayer device is powered by an external battery-based motor. We have designed the ClotSlayer powering mechanism to allow bi-directional rotational motion. In addition, the powering mechanism of the ClotSlayer is encased inside a handle box that conveniently allows for operation by the physician one-handed. From our RPM testing, we have found that a rotational speed of 300 rotations per minute would sufficiently disrupt the clot. Our current rotary device operates at 700 rotations per minute. Testing have confirmed device efficacy; a clot size of 60 mL can be effectively disrupted within 5 minutes of device operation. We have designed three safety features in the ClotSlayer to ensure the safety of the bladder wall during its usage: 1) rounded silicone cap to prevent bladder puncture 2) stopper disk to avert device over-deployment and 3) small lateral wire wingspan to avoid bladder contact. Additionally, the ClotSlayer is designed to fit through the inner diameter of a standard 24-French council tip catheter; this allows for a sheathed insertion of the device. Overall, the ClotSlayer is a device that can improve patient healthcare- it is low cost (~ $30 for materials and labor), disposable, easy to use, and noninvasive (adapts to catheters currently used in urinary procedures and does not require local anesthesia).

Last updated: 5/04/2014
Carolyn and Harrell L. Huff
Sponsor Logo
  • Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Eric Richardson
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • BIOE

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