Flushable catheter affixed to a wash line (SJ-13-0018)

Technology Name
(St. Jude Reference #)
Flushable catheter affixed to a wash line (SJ-13-0018)
Description Catheters are widely used in long-term care, and typically have an end open to the blood stream which allows for the intentional intravenous delivery of drugs, nutrition and fluid. Over time, bio-fouling infectious agents populate the lumen of the catheter and are forced into the bloodstream when fluids are injected. Catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) are diagnosed in around 10% of patients with catheters (250,000 to 500,000 infections in US hospitals/year); and in that infected patient population, the mortality rate can be 25%. CRBSI significantly increases hospital length of stay and overall treatment costs.

Current in situ cleaning procedures used to remove bacterial build-up by injecting a solution into the catheter without a barrier can actually lead to infection. Yannan Ouyang, a researcher here at St. Jude, has designed a flushable catheter system with a switched wash line. This design allows for cleaning bacteria/biofilm contamination, and prevents contaminated fluids and bioactive agents from entering patients’ blood stream during this cleaning. The design includes a cost effective cleaning solution aimed at detaching cells and proteins from the catheter surface that works better than pure bleach. Dr. Ouyang has even taken the step of designing a machine to perform the washing consistently and safely.
Keywords Catheter-related bloodstream infections, disinfection, biofilm, flush catheter contaminated blood
Granted Patents or Published Applications  
Licensing Opportunities This invention will reduce costs and lengths of hospitalization by reducing infections and it will save lives. St. Jude is seeking a licensing partner for this catheter design who will commit the time and resources required to see it to market. We have filed a patent application which can be provided to you under a confidentiality agreement. If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, please contact the Office of Technology Licensing for more information.


Contact the Office of Technology Licensing (Phone: 901-595-2342, Fax: 901-595-3148) for more information.


Last update: June 2013