Novel Mechanical Arm to Assist with Neonatal Umbilical Vessel Catheter Placement

Technology #13126

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Patrick James Tighe
Nicole Charlotte Dobija
Managed By
Zahara M. Jaffer
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 9,492,175


The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in licensing a novel mechanical arm to assist with neonatal umbilical vessel catheter placement. Placement of catheters into the umbilical artery and vein, umbilical arterial catheters (UAC) and umbilical venous catheters (UVC), respectively, has become routine in caring for ill premature and full-term newborns. Currently, placement of UACs and UVCs can be quite challenging and requires at least one assistant to hold the umbilicus during sterile preparation and throughout the procedure. Researchers at the University of Florida have designed a mechanical arm to be used for positioning and securing the umbilicus so that a UAC or UVC may be placed with greater precision, sterility and speed without the need of an assistant.


Device to assist with umbilical vessel cannulation in newborns


  • Enhances physician’s ability to accurately position UACs and UVCs in ill or unstable newborns, reducing risk of complications during and after procedure
  • Eliminates need for assistant during procedure, allowing physician a free hand during sterile prepping and draping, and promotes a more sterile procedure overall
  • Improves illumination during procedure provided by light on device, enhancing precision and allowing for more rapid umbilical vessel cannulation
  • Speeds up procedure time, increases patient safety and improves current methods, creating significant competitive advantage


The base of the device is designed to attach to the neonate’s bed or incubator. An adjustable mechanical arm extends from the base to a manifold, which attaches to the umbilical clamp affixed immediately prior to intrapartum cord cutting. The arm is mobile, but provides variable resistance and can be locked at the desired position. This allows the arm to elevate the umbilicus for sterile preparation and drape, eliminating the need of an assistant during the procedure. Additionally, the mechanical arm may contain a power supply in the base and be equipped with lights built into the manifold, which will further assist with procedural illumination. Not only will improved illumination throughout the procedure increase patient safety, but it will reduce procedure time as well.