Ear Tube for Easy Removal of Blockage (2017-047)

Market Overview:

This ear tube design, called AuriClear, has a removable film which allows for blockages to be removed non-invasively during a routine doctor visit. About one in five children will need ear tubes before the age of 10. Out of the one million procedures performed in the United States in 2016, 85 percent were children under the age of two. Currently, ear tubes are placed within the eardrum which often leads to blockage. When this occurs, additional surgical procedures may be required. In an effort to eliminate preventable surgeries, Clemson University researchers developed AuriClear. The inner layer of AuriClear is a removable film which can be removed when a blockage forms. This allows the external tube to remain in place and function properly once the blockage is removed with the inner film. AuriClear allows a physician to remove the blockage in a non-invasive manner, reducing the cost of treatment and risk of hearing loss and surgical complications.


Application                                    Stage of Development

Medical device                               Prototype



• Utilizes a large conical shape design, optimizing fluid flow from the middle ear

• Features an inner film with accessible tab for removal, enabling easy and non-invasive blockage removal

• Prevents blockages from forming while ear tube is inserted, eliminating need for surgical procedures and reducing healthcare costs for the patient


Technical Summary

This ear tube is inserted in the tympanic membrane of patients to allow fluid drainage from the middle ear to the outer ear. Commonly, ear tubes become blocked with wax, blood, and other mucous which prevents fluid flow through the tube. With the design of a conical feature and removable double layer film, AuriClear will help prevent and treat blockages by allowing a physician to remove the blockage in a non-invasive manner during a routine doctor visit. AuriClear’s design includes a conical ear tube made of polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), an inner film lining the inside of the tube and flange made of PTFE, and a POEGMA adhesive to hold the film in place. When the tube becomes blocked with wax, mucous, or other bodily fluid, a physician will grasp the

tab with a hook and pull it down and outward. This will detach the tab from the film and close off the proximal tube lumen, enclosing the blockage. The tab is then pulled further to detach the film from the ear tube. The film is then removed from the distal opening of the tube, along with the blockage.


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Inventors:                      Matthew Roach, Seth Perryman, Jeannette Rodriguez Gonzalez, Taylor Gustaveson,

                                        Kelsey Palsgrove


Patent Type:                  Provisional


Serial No:                      62/478,161


CURF Ref No:              2017-047

Patent Information:
Biomedical Sciences
For Information, Contact:
Chris Gesswein
Director of Licensing
Clemson University Research Foundation
Seth Perryman
Matthew Roach
Taylor Gustaveson
Jeannette Rodriguez Gonzalez
Kelsey Palsgrove
Bioengineering Senior Design
Biomaterials Implant Design
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