Disposable Anti-Kink Tracheal Tube Curve Stabilizer


Each year, tens of millions of tracheal tubes (TT) are used in patients with impaired breathing or undergoing surgery to deliver oxygen and ventilation to the lungs. If a patient is being anesthetized, transported in an ambulance or helicopter, or having surgery on the head or neck, the TT that is inserted into the mouth is bent and taped or clipped to stabilize and maintain its proper position to prevent inadvertent displacement. This bending and securement often leads to TT kinking (as shown in the picture on the right), obstruction and reduced airflow, potentially causing harm to the patient. In addition, an awakening patient often bites the TT and causes kinking and obstruction of the TT. To avoid kinking, specialized TT with preformed curves (e.g., RAE TT) are sometimes used. However, replacing a standard TT with a specialized curved one significantly increases the risks of desaturation, apnea, airway trauma or edema. Furthermore, hospitals would have to stock specialized TT in various sizes, which would drive up the cost of inventory. To allow the use of standard TTs and avoid kinking,  research engineers at Drexel and physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have developed the TT Curve Stabilizer, a simple disposable device that safely curves and stabilizes a standard TT without kinking. The Curve Stabilizer can be easily applied and removed without displacing the TT’s position relative to the patient, and can protect the integrity of the tracheal tube by serving as a bite-block to prevent the patient from biting the tube.


Technology Description

The Curve Stabilizer is a disposable, single-piece plastic brace bent to a desired angle (usually 50o to 70o) with a tube slot along its side that enables it to easily snap on and off the TT. The figures on the left illustrate the design of the Curve Stabilizer. To prevent the TT from snapping out, the tube slot begins on one side of the brace and ends on the opposite side. The Curve Stabilizer design allows for easy device application and positioning, prevents slipping of the TT inside the stabilizer, and prevents the patient from biting the TT. Other benefits include reduced inventory since each Curve Stabilizer can fit two TT sizes.


Prototypes of the Curve Stabilizer have been made and tested, demonstrating its easy use and prevention of kinks in a wide range of TT sizes. The pictures above compare a RAE TT (left) to a standard straight TT bent using the Curve Stabilizer (right). The Curve Stabilizer maintains the same desired curvature of the tube as the RAE TT, without kinking. Application of the Curve Stabilizer is a simple procedure of snapping the proximal end of the device over the TT and inlaying the TT in the tube slot. This procedure is illustrated in the following video:




•       Preparation of intubated patients for head and neck surgery

•       TT bite block

•       Enables replacing RAE TT with a regular straight TT

•       TT stabilization in patients being transported in ambulances, helicopters etc.



•       Increases safety by eliminating the need for re-intubation with RAE TT

•       Low unit cost, reducing the prices for manufacturers and customers

•       Reduced inventory requirements


This technology is protected by a pending patent application owned by Drexel University and CHOP and is available for licensing from Drexel, which manages it on behalf of both Drexel and CHOP. Drexel University is looking for an industrial partner to license and commercialize this device.


Case ID:
Web Published:
Patent Information:
Medical Device
For Information, Contact:
Cassie Tran
Licensing Associate
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Ian Yuan
Vinay Nadkarni
Bryan Melilli