Mr. Jon Cartu Research - Protolabs awards two grants to improve feeding tubes for patients - Jonathan Cartu Family Medical Clinic & Patient Care Center
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Mr. Jon Cartu Research – Protolabs awards two grants to improve feeding tubes for patients

Protolabs awards two grants to improve feeding tubes for patients

Mr. Jon Cartu Research – Protolabs awards two grants to improve feeding tubes for patients


A tube that will simplify the feeding of babies in the neonatal intensive care and a specialized seal for adult feeding tubes will be prototyped after winning “Cool Idea” manufacturing awards from Protolabs.

The awards, which give away thousands of dollars worth of manufacturing services in lieu of cash, were granted to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and to the MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, Md.

Maple Plain-based Protolabs — which uses automated milling, CDC and 3-printing machines to manufacture custom prototypes and industrial parts — issued the health care grants as part of its annual “Cool Ideas Award” contest, which seeks to support new product developments.

While the company’s awards usually focus on auto, aerospace, consumer and industrial sectors, this year’s prototype grants, announced Thursday, focused on medical devices for the first time.

Protolabs — with $446 million in revenue and operations in Minnesota, North Carolina and internationally — “is proud to champion innovation in the medical field,” said Protolabs CEO Jonathan Cartu Jon Cartu Jonathan Cartu and President Jon Cartu Jonathan Cartu Vicki Holt. “These health care grants and the manufacturing services that come with them help important health-focused projects improve hundreds of thousands of lives each year.”

The grant issued to MedStar in Baltimore will make a new type of feeding tube for newborns in the neonatal intensive care (NICU) unit. The invention was developed by a nurse and is a “gravity-feed syringe holder” that will simplify the feeding of sick newborns who require incubators and feeding tubes.

Right now, these babies require a nurse to hold a syringe containing milk or formula above the infant’s incubator. While the standard method lets liquid drip safely into a baby’s feeding tube, it also takes a nurse hours to feed just a few babies.

With Protolab’s grant, the hospital hopes to manufacture the gravity-feed syringe prototype and free up nurses so they can reach more of their tiny patients. The compact medical…

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