Everting Pre-Shaped Soft Device for Access during Medical Interventions

Tech ID: 31933 / UC Case 2020-061-0


Conventional minimally-invasive medical devices that navigate in the body must be pushed from the base. This movement increases risk of dissection as a result of potentially high forces between the environment and instrument. Furthermore, these standard instruments struggle to traverse complex anatomical structures due to their stiffness. 


Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have fabricated a soft, tip-extending device with a hollow channel and outer sheath that relies on internal pressure for safe and timely movement through the body. The device is inspired by the growth of a vine: it extends at the tip while the rest of the body remains stationary with respect to the environment, eliminating friction along its length. This vine-like catheter acts as a delivery vehicle that pulls an instrument (such as a standard catheter) to the surgical site. When it reaches the final target, there is a hollow access channel and sufficient stiffness for treatment to be delivered. Additionally, the body of the vine can be formed and everted to match specific anatomical structures, enabling simple and efficient navigation of channels that are too tortuous for traditional tools. 


  • Minimizes risk of dissection
  • Reduces time for accessing surgical sites
  • Improves anatomical navigability


  • Medical Devices
  • Surgical Procedures

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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Other Information


surgical device, medical device, tip-extending, anatomical navigation, surgery

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