Ultrasound-guided Alignment and Insertion of Percutaneous Cannulating Instruments

(Left) Device prototype. (Right) Short-axis ultrasound image of segmented vessel for insertion.

Invention Summary:

Gaining access to blood vessels is a critical first step in a plethora of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (see market applications). The timely delivery of these interventions can affect morbidity and mortality, yet in difficult conditions, access can be highly challenging. Difficulties are exacerbated in patients with small, tortuous, or collapsed vessels, which are common in pediatric, elderly, chronically-ill, traumatic, and hypovolemic patients. Poorly introduced needles may result in complications such as increased pain, internal bleeding, or leakage of IV fluids into the extravascular tissue.

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a robotic device designed to quickly, safely, and efficiently obtain venous access. By utilizing ultrasound imaging and miniaturized robotics, the device can accurately and autonomously introduce a cannula into targeted blood vessels, requiring minimal input from clinicians.

Market Applications:

  • Drawing blood
  • Administering fluids and medications
  • Delivering blood products
  • Introducing endovascular devices
  • Initiating hemodialysis
  • Performing acute trauma resuscitation
  • Monitoring physiological status       


  • Improved first-stick accuracy
  • Low learning curve
  • Improved safety
  • Faster procedure time

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University