News Release

U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Public Affairs Office
810 Schreider Street
Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5000

Deputy Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
(301) 619-2736

For Immediate Release � April 14, 2009

Two Soldiers invent a medical tube securing device

(Fort Detrick, Md.) � Not expecting their "simple" solution to a medical problem would turn into a winning invention--two Soldiers entered a Department of Defense 2009 Hot Technologies Contest and submitted an invention called a Medical Tube Securing Device.

Spc. Brendan Beely and Staff Sgt. Gabriel Wright of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, a subcommand of U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, recognized a problem, and invented a device for securing medical tubes and catheters intubated within a patient that will prevent damage to the incisors by locating separate bite blocks on the molars. It also helps to prevent pressure sores on patients' lips.

"The Respiratory and Pulmonary Studies Department presented a problem to us and told us that they needed a solution. We drafted up a couple of sketches and then took supplies we had on the shelf and made the device. Someone from MRMC noticed our invention and submitted it for the contest," said Beely.

That person was Paul Mele, director of the Office of Research and Technology Applications here at Fort Detrick.

"We looked for technologies that met a real Army need and also had application in the civilian sector. The medical tube securing device showed outstanding initiative and creativity on the part of MEDCOM Soldiers," said Mele.

The invention cost less than $1,000.

The Burn Center, located in the Brooke Army Medical Center, receives approximately 300 burn patients each year. Often, these patients have problems breathing on their own due to scorched esophagi, damaged airways due to smoke inhalation, or organ failures.

"We wanted to help prevent tears in mouths and put the pressure back on the molars," said Wright.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to intubate the patient so that they can breathe. The current method of securing endotracheal tubes often leaves patients with cuts or tears in their mouths. In addition, several patients have lost their incisors due to prolonged forceful clamping of the jaw on the semi-rigid bite block.

The prize for winning the DoD Hot Technologies contest is a marketing video. MRMC's technology transfer office will utilize this video to attract potential licensing partners to commercialize this technology.

If the patent is issued, each inventor will receive an additional $250. If their technology is licensed, the inventors split royalties under the license, and as much as an additional $2K/year each on top of the royalties.

The same technology was also chosen for World's Best Technology showcase March 24-25 in Arlington, Texas. The WBTshowcase is an event showcasing the largest collection of undiscovered technologies emanating from the world's leading universities, labs and research institutions.

For more information about the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, visit

For more information about U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, visit


The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command is the Army's medical materiel developer, with lead agency responsibility for medical research, development and acquisition, medical logistics management, medical information management/information technology and medical health facility planning.

The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research is part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and is collocated with Brooke Army Medical Center. The USAISR is dedicated to both laboratory and clinical trauma research. Its mission is to provide requirements-driven combat casualty care medical solutions and products for injured soldiers, from self-aid through definitive care across the full spectrum of military operations; provide state-of-the-art trauma, burn, and critical care to Department of Defense beneficiaries around the world and civilians in our trauma region; and provide Burn Special Medical Augmentation Response Teams.

Last Modified Date: 15-Apr-2016