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UIS researchers create a portable chest drainage unit for pleural pathology patients

Image of the portable therapeutic pleural drainage device.

Pleur-B is the new national invention patent of the UIS, a clinical treatment that provides mobility, autonomy, and versatility to patients with pleural pathology.

The Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC) granted the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) a national invention patent for the creation of a portable therapeutic pleural drainage unit. This clinical treatment tool is expected to provide autonomy and improve the conditions of patients who present pleural pathology or accumulation of liquid between the tissues that cover the lungs and the thorax.

This new portable device, called Pleur-B, facilitates the suction of intrapleural substances in a controlled and regulated manner by the patient himself, following medical indications, this time from the comfort of his home. It can operate without any variation, in any position of the body, giving the patient mobility, autonomy, and versatility during the treatment and the possibility of not having to interrupt it to carry out other activities of daily life. 

Pleur-B is the result of the graduate work of Jorge Benincore, Industrial Design alumni of the UIS, with the participation and direction of Professor Francisco Espinel Correal, from the Escuela de Diseño Industrial, and the support of Professor Fabio Bolívar Grimaldos, of the Departamento de Medicina Interna de la Escuela de Medicina de la UIS.

Pleural pathologies, such as pneumothorax, hemothorax, empyema, and pleural effusion, require the patient to attend a specialized medical center and undergo treatment that involves being connected to a thoracic drainage unit for a specific period, which may be prolonged, depending on the level of complexity of the pulmonary trauma present.  This procedure facilitates the elimination of substances that are preventing the normal functioning of the lungs.

The new device created at the UIS consists of a suction unit that works with rechargeable batteries and is adjusted to the body using a coupling system. It was designed to provide the possibility of graduating the level of drainage of the different substances that are deposited in a plastic container that can be exchanged by the patient himself, under the supervision of a specialist remotely.

Pleur-B also seeks to greatly reduce the frequency of patient visits and stays at medical centers and to prevent patients from acquiring other types of diseases that could jeopardize their treatment and health. 

“It is for us a real achievement to be able to return autonomy to the patient and the possibility of not having to be hospitalized or resort to the vacuum points that are in medical centers to carry out their treatment,” commented UIS professor, Francisco Espinel Correal.  

With the granting of the patent, there is the possibility of continuing to integrate new elements that will allow the device to evolve to obtain a product that can reach the market in a short time.

“In addition to patients, this device may be of interest to companies that develop this type of pulmonary therapy tool, as it is a great novelty that completely changes the paradigm and opens the way to the new possibility of autonomous use by patients in pulmonary therapy,” commented Jorge Benincore, industrial designer, alumni of the UIS.

The device consists of a suction unit that runs on rechargeable batteries and is adjusted to the patient’s body using a coupling system.
Inventor with his UIS degree
This invention was born as a degree project of Jorge Benincore, an Industrial Design UIS.
Photo of UIS professor, inventor of the device.
Francisco Espinel Correal, professor at the Escuela de Diseño Industrial UIS, is one of the inventors of this patent.

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