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SBIR/STTR

Advanced Capabilities Medical Suction Device, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

A compact microgravity and hypogravity compatible vacuum device is proposed to provide medical suction and containment of extracted fluids. The proposed aspirator will draw up to 40 L/min of air and produce a nominal vacuum of 500-mm Hg, which is comparable to commercially available medical aspirators. The unit will also provide a means for separation and containment of up to 1000 mL of aspirated fluids. Waste material separation will be accomplished by a reticulated foam trap that will utilize hydrophilic adsorbent materials to sequester liquids within the reticulated foam structure. The aspirator assembly will also include a sub-micron filter to prevent aerosol from escaping to the spacecraft cabin. During the Phase I research, an efficient trap will be designed and tested using a commercial off the shelf (COTS) vacuum pump. Additional trap features will be investigated including collapsible walls to minimize storage space and chemical resistance to enable suction of corrosive and/or toxic materials. Phase II research will focus on improving overall ESM and incorporating features such as a trap fill level indicator, an emergency shutoff in case of liquid breakthrough, and an alarm indicating a blocked airway, which will improve microgravity performance. More »

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