Download Full Text (603 KB)


The objective of this project was to develop a device that would better secure endotracheal tubes (ETT), measure unwanted displacement, and notify caretakers when a dangerous amount of displacement has occurred. The project deliverables were as follows: a detailed design, a prototype, and a final demonstration of the prototype which shows successful ability to carry out the objectives stated above. The device needs to be small in size, expensive, flexible to allow for regular cleaning, yet strong enough to withstand stress. The final design consists of a small bite block holder and head straps to secure the device. The device also contains a sensor that detects voltage changes, which correlates to displacement, and sets off an auditory alarm when the ETT moves out of a pre-determined safety range. The prototype developed includes these attributes and provides an auditory and visual alarm in the event of unwanted ETT displacement. It is made of a flexible, durable, and non-toxic polyurethane material. Testing in the simulation laboratory revealed that the device was able to measure displacement accurately within a range of 2 mm and able to output an alarm when the ETT was moved out of the pre-determined safety range of 20 mm. In conclusion, the final prototype meets the objectives that were meant to be addressed in this project. Future plans include creating a wireless solution to increase portability, adding an exterior antimicrobial coating to decrease bacteria accumulation, and incorporating wall port electrical safety measures to ensure patient safety.

Publication Date



biomedical engineering, endotracheal tubes


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Paul A. Wetzel

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Sensing Movement in Endotracheal Tubes