Cell Collection Device for Biological Analysis

Case ID:

This technology is an improvement to a falloposcope designed with optical elements selected for detection of early stage ovarian cancer in fallopian tube epithelium. The cells collected by the falloposcope is grounded in a growing body of medical cytology research for earlier cancer detection. This cell collection device improvement focuses on site accuracy (collecting cells only from a limited area of interest) while maintaining ease of use and protection of the fallopian tube tissue. It may be implemented in one of the existing optical channels of the falloposcope under development.



Although rare, ovarian cancer is often deadly because it is detected late. Pelvic ultrasounds and the CA-125 blood test are generally accurate for detecting late stage III-IV ovarian cancer, but the survival rates are less than 30%, compared with > 90% survival rates for cancer detected in early stages, I-II. Therefore, there is strong interest in developing better early detection screening procedures, particularly for high risk women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation. A reliable early detection procedure would provide an option other than removal of all reproductive organs after 40 for high risk women.


Research includes examining early stage lesions on the surface of ovaries and fallopian tube epithelium. Access to the fallopian tubes through the cervix is a minimally invasive option because it does not involve surgery; instead, falloposcopic examination can be done in a clinic with mild sedation. However, to be effective, a falloposcope must be small enough to pass through the narrow 1mm opening from the uterus to the proximal portion of the fallopian tube but it must have sufficient resolution and field of view to image the 4cm wide fimbral portion of the tube approximately 10cm away.


Medical device companies have patented other cell collection devices, generally involving brushes or balloons to collect a sufficient sample size for analysis. However, these designs tend to have larger surface areas that would fail to discriminate between lesions and the surrounding healthy tissue.



  • Falloposcopic tuboplasty
  • Detection of early stage ovarian cancer


  • Easy to manufacture and implement in falloposcope prototype
  • Inexpensive
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Jennifer Barton
Swati Chandra
Steven Santaniello
Richard Cordova