Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



United States Patent Nelson et al. Patent No.: US 10,420,916 B1


A probe for traversing a tubular passage includes an introducer to be supported at an entrance to the tubular passage. The probe also includes a probe tip to traverse the tubular passage, and a tube with an inflatable tube segment. In some embodiments, the inflatable tube segment is storable in the probe tip. The inflatable tube segment is configured to be inflated to push the probe tip away from the introducer toward an end on the tubular passage. In some embodiments, the probe includes a sealing mechanism, whre the sealing mechanism can be positioned between the inflatable tube segment of the tube and the introducer to maintain the inflatable tube segment in a deflated configuration until inflation of the inflatable tube segment.