Novel Portable Airway Suction Device with Anti-Viral Coating. Multiple Sector Applications.

Lead Participant: Airway Medical Ltd


Medical clinicians and carers often use suctioning devices to clear blockages in the respiratory airways of individuals. The scope of places where this happens varies from "high tech" Acute Hospital environments to temporary field-based Hospitals. It is also commonly used in the community for emergencies such as chocking to chronic conditions such as Dementia, Stroke, Brain Injury and Cystic Fibrosis for example.

The reason behind the need to clear the airway is different for the above scenarios. For example; In a Covid-19 situation, the patient requires to have their airway cleared of sputum on a regular basis to prevent ingress into the lungs where it can harden and lead to the patient being admitted to ICU.

Paramedics may have to clear the airways of individuals who have had a seizure or have undergone a cardiac arrest.

In a care home environment, airway clearance may be used to support someone with a neurological illness such as Motor Neurone Disease, where the normal levels of salvia produced cannot be swallowed by the patient, or to remove food that has become lodged in the airway and is causing chocking.

Each one of these environments deals with the need for suction differently, from having vacuum lines installed into the hospital and ambulance, to having expensive bulky electrically powered pumps, to the use of the Heimlich Manoeuvre and calling 999\.

This project offers the solution of providing one simple low-cost portable suction device, that does not require electrical power. It looks like a sports bottle, is extremely rugged and waterproof. It is significantly cheaper (90%) than existing technologies and compact (90% smaller and lighter). It utilises far less resources to manufacture, is re-useable and can potentially be made from recycled materials. It will have a coating that provides 100% effectiveness against any Virus or Bacteria that contacts it, including Covid-19\.

It works on the Venturi pump system, typically an hour glass constriction within a pipe with a T-joint. Flow of a gas or liquid across the T joint causes a negative pressure, i.e. a vacuum pump that can suck fluids away and into a storage container.

This project builds upon the initial work undertaken whereby an early prototype was shown to meet the required performance for Airway Suction as defined by ISO standard ISO10079-3-2014\. Improvements will be made to the prototype, particularly with design for manufacturing and assembly in mind. Materials development will be undertaken. All of this will be done whilst working towards achieving medical device approval, CE marking, and protecting the Intellectual Property generated by this project.

Ultimately, a manufacturable device will be produced.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Airway Medical Ltd, Bristol £183,535 £ 146,828


University of Portsmouth £63,732 £ 63,732


10 25 50