G-Tube Blockage Blaster


Tech ID: D2021-37


Gastronomy Tubes (G-Tube) are surgically implanted medical devices that create an access point to a patient’s stomach through a tube. Patients who have difficulty swallowing need G-tubes to get proper nutrition, hydration, and medications. Conditions, such as dementia, head injury, and cancer may cause swallowing problems and necessitate the use of a G-tube. Material, such as crushed medications, can build up on the walls of the tube, forming a blockage. Since the G-Tube is the only way for the patient to eat, drink, and medicate, the medical team needs to unclog the G-Tube in a short time. An attempt is usually made to clear the clog at bedside. The devices currently used at bedside are typically expensive or ineffective. If the plug remains in the G-Tube, the patient will require surgical intervention. Therefore, there needs to be an effective and affordable device that can be used at the bedside to clear clogged G-Tubes.

Invention Description

The University of Toledo designed a device that expands the G-Tube wall proximal to the clog, allowing for a routine flush with saline. The device contains an elongated shaft with two lumens for air or saline transport. Once the device shaft is fed into the clogged G-Tube, the balloon is expanded and saline is flushed through. The balloon creates a physical barrier to prevent backsplash from the pressure of the saline flush.


  • Removing clogs from tubes


  • Affordable and effective
  • Reduces splash back
  • Time efficient
  • Potential to be re-used
  • Can be used by a range of caregivers
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Katherine Pollard
Licensing Associate
The University of Toledo
Madeline Winters
Harini Pasupuleti
Nicholas Reed
Hunter Wilson
Farad Alharthi