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ShunTube: IVC Trauma Repair

Team Members:
  • Bijan Abar
  • Wes Bernier
  • Calvin Chang
  • Emily Hsiao
  • Arianne Papa
  • Sohini Sengupta
  • Jiarui Wang
  • Jennifer Yang
  • Amadeus Zhu
  • James H. Black, MD


Trauma injuries to the inferior vena cava (IVC) are a serious, fatal matter with a patient mortality rate that exceeds seventy percent. These injuries are commonly caused by gunshot wounds, stab wounds, physical abuse, or rapid deceleration. Due to the high rate of blood flow through the IVC, it is imperative for the surgeon to stop the bleeding from the vein as quickly as possible. However, this is difficult to achieve in an open surgery setting due to the placement of the IVC within the body.

We have developed the ShunTube, an adjustable double balloon catheter that can be deployed without the need for open surgery. The device includes two occlusion balloons, located above and below the site of injury, that are both inflated with saline in order to seal off the wound. Blood will enter the device through pores located beneath the lower balloon, travel upward bypassing the wounded region, then exit above the upper balloon and return to the heart. Our device can be rapidly deployed to improve patient outcome and reduce medical expertise required for surgical intervention. Aside from treating trauma injuries, our device can also be modified for use in liver cancer treatment, deep vein thrombosis treatment, and as a substitute for veno-venous bypass in tumor resection procedures.

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