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An Anchored Non-Spherical Balloon for Obesity Treatment


Researchers at Children's National Hospital have developed a novel treatment for obesity by using a non-spherical balloon that can be implanted in a patient and anchored in place in the gastric cavity. This device remains stationary in the patient, and it is positioned such that it physically limits what a patient can eat, as well as blocking biochemical signals that indicate hunger.


Obesity has become the world's most pressing healthcare issue, and severe obesity affects 2.7 million children. While lifestyle modification and patient education are important components of any weight management program, they alone have failed to demonstrate promising and consistent weight loss results, and surgical intervention is often needed. Current surgical strategies come with significant risk to the patient and often lack successful outcomes for treating the obesity. Our discovery has the following advantages compared to current surgical practices:

  • It will be anchored to the abdominal wall so it cannot migrate within the gastric cavity like some current devices do.
  • Its positioning will allow for easily inflating the balloon to the desired volume.
  • Close adherence to the gastric wall will minimize risk of stomach expanding to accommodate more food.
  • The balloon positioned in the greater curvature of the stomach will block food from contacting ghrelin-producing cells, which stimulate hunger.


  • Obesity Therapy

Stage of Development

Proof of concept data in pigs has been generated. Weight gain halted by device.

Intellectual Property Status and Key Publications

  • “An Anchored Non-Spherical Balloon for the Treatment of Obesity” US Patent application US/2015/0223956

This technology is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing.

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