Centre for Healthcare Technologies
University of Nottingham
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 iTraXS Novel endotracheal tube for safer intubation in critical care

 endotracheal tube

Endotracheal tubes maintain vital airways into patients undergoing surgery, prevent aspiration into the lungs, and allow mechanical ventilation.

However, artificial ventilation, whilst necessary, often leads to other serious conditions: ventilator-associated pneumonia is common in intensive care units, leading to increased illness and sometimes death; post-intubation stenosis is a less common airway injury, but serious, affecting a patient’s ability to breathe and speak.

Avoiding tracheal damage and ventilator-associated pneumonia

The design of the inflatable cuff that provides the seal around the tube affects the likelihood of causing injury. Our iTraXS (intra tracheal multiplexed sensing) tube has incorporated optical fibre sensors into the cuffs of the tube which can measure pressure and blood flow, humidity, temperature and biofilm thickness. We aim to be able to optimise the level of inflation of the seal of the endotracheal tube to avoid damaging the trachea and reduce the incidence of pneumonia.

In collaboration with medical device company P3 Medical and anaesthetists from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, we have successfully completed our first in human studies.

iTraXS was runner up at the 2018 AAGBI awards for Innovation in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain


Professor Steve Morgan, Dr Andy Norris, Dr Ricardo Correia, Professor Jon Hardman

Key papers:

Optical fibre sensing at the interface between tissue and medical device

Optical fibre sensing during critical care