Optical Injector: A Novel Device for Airway Injection


Injection of a variety of materials into the larynx, subglottis, and trachea has widespread applications in the field of otolaryngology. Pathologic conditions that are treated using airway injections include unilateral vocal fold paralysis, subglottic stenosis, and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (1-8). In conventional airway injection procedures, the injection apparatus is guided by a separate handheld endoscope or an operating microscope. Use of an endoscope, however, occupies one of the surgeon's hands, leaving only one hand free to guide the injector. Furthermore, while use of a surgical microscope frees both hands of the surgeon, the microscope is cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming to set up. Vanderbilt researchers have a novel optical injector that combines the injection apparatus with an endoscope, thereby allowing the surgeon to have a free hand for manipulation of tissues around the injection site without having to use an operating microscope.


This Optical Device for Airway Injection has the following specific advantages over the current designs:

1. Allows for one of the surgeons hands to be freed for manipulation of tissues around the injection site

2. The surgeon can assemble the entire optical injector without the needle tip, thereby by allowing for a rapid transition from airway evaluation to airway injection

3. The optical injector is easier to set up and rapidly deploy in most cases

The Optical Device for Airway Injection described here combines an endoscope and injection apparatus that can be rapidly deployed, can be used for both airway injection and evaluation, and frees one of the surgeon's hands, which can be used manipulate nearby tissue.

Sanjay AthavaleSravan DhulipalaPhil SluderSatakal KhalsaJames Netterville
Licensing manager: 
Taylor Jordan

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