Device to Determine the Proper Operation of IV Catheters

Tech ID:

A device to allow the verification of the correct placement of an intravenous (IV) catheter has been developed by a physician at UT Health San Antonio. The device contains a signaling unit which can introduce pressure or acoustic impulses into the fluid inside the catheter.  The pulses can be detected visually to verify the patency of the catheter - that it has been placed successfully in the vein and/or that the vein is not blocked/occluded.



Over 250 million intravenous (IV) catheters are inserted into patients in the U.S. every year for the delivery of intravenous fluids and/or medications.  Complications of IV catheters are common and include:


  • Incorrect placement - IV catheter misses or traverses the target vein
  • Vein injury – resulting in blood clot formation in the vein (occlusion)


Both conditions can result in infiltration of the IV fluid into the surrounding soft tissues (phlebitis) which can result in pain, tissue injury and possibly infection and/or tissue damage.


The invention allows caregivers to interrogate the IV catheter manually to ensure that it is correctly placed in the vein and that it remains open and functioning properly.


Commercial Applications & Advantages:

The invention has broad applications across all medical fields and provides the following improvements to currently available IV tubing:


  • Detectable flow patterns in IV fluid without net fluid administration to patients
  • Easily indicates proper catheter placement
  • Easily indicates open or occluded vein
  • Ability to interrogate the proper functioning of the IV catheter at any time


Note: This invention also include the following previous technologies and related IP: US 14/652888 (HSC-1112).


For information contact:
John Fritz
Sr. Business Development Manager
Daniel Dearmond
John H Calhoon
Patent Information:

United States - Utility

Patent No.11,666,700

Status: Allowed

Canada - National Phase

Patent No. 

Status: Pending

Australia - National Phase

Patent No. 

Status: Abandoned

Europe - National Phase

Patent No. 

Status: Pending