Abdominal access viewport

Custom viewport reveals organs, delivers medication

  • Surgically implanted above the tissue or organ of interest
  • Provides drug delivery and real-time imaging
  • Can be mounted to a microscope for precise, longitudinal studies
  • Highly customizable for different animals, organs, and microscopes

Licensing Manager: Joe Runge, J.D., M.S., hrunge@unmc.edu or 402-559-1181


Custom viewport reveals organs, delivers medication

A novel abdominal window enables researchers to view functioning tissue and organs of living animals. The surgically implanted device is made from multiple biocompatible materials and highly customizable.
The Abdominal Access Viewport offers a new, affordable and customizable method of performing accurate observations during long-term animal studies. With applications in numerous animal models including surgical intervention, infection, tumor placement, and drug screening, among others, this versatile research tool upgrades a standard microscope into a real-time imaging system.
A rigid window frame containing a glass coverslip is surgically implanted onto the surface of the animal above the tissue or organ of interest, and can be tailored to allow microscopic imaging and drug delivery.
This new device provides researchers with two major benefits. First, the window allows real-time imaging of live-animal tissues with nearly any laser microscope, which eliminates the need for an inverted microscope. Second, access portals allow the delivery of a range of substances, including macromolecules, pharmaceuticals and cellular populations for real-time monitoring of tissue response.
To discuss licensing opportunities contact Joe Runge, J.D., M.S., at hrunge@unmc.edu or 402-559-1181.

Additional details


  • Bin Duan, Ph.D.
  • Tony Hollingsworth, Ph.D.
  • Mitchell Kuss, Ph.D.
  • Ayrianne Crawford

Intellectual Property: Provisional Patent has been filed (17057P)

Technical Summary

The design of this device allows it to be 3D printed, which means that it can be quickly and cheaply manufactured. This also allows it to be easily customized to different sizes as need requires. For example, they can be designed to have no drug delivery ports or multiple drug delivery ports. The abdominal viewing windows have the ability to be able to be made from many different materials that are biocompatible. The current windows are made of an acrylic resin that can be 3D printed using a light based 3D printer. They could be made from any number of biocompatible materials and still function properly.
The device design facilitates safe and efficient surgical placement. Briefly, the skin and peritoneum around the internal tissues of interest are removed. After any model induction is completed (surgical intervention, orthotopic tumor placement, etc.), the peritoneum and abdominal wall muscles can be purse string sutured and secured around the device’s internal ridge with a dissolvable suture. External sutures can be applied in the same fashion, after internal suture placement. The imaging coverslip then drops into the internal cavity and can be secured with vet grade glue around the edge of the coverslip. Animal subjects can be habituated to being mounted for imaging, or may be anesthetized based on available instrumentation. Longitudinal imaging can be compiled through use of either gridded coverslips or anatomical landmarks such as vasculature profiles.