Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.



First Advisor

Zhiwen Zhang


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition which is characterized by momentary pauses in a person’s breathing while they are sleeping. Current treatment options for sleep apnea include CPAP, oral appliances, and surgery. Of these options, hyoid suspension surgery is one of the most effective, but is significantly underutilized. This is due to the fact that performing hyoid suspension surgery by current methods is complicated and can be painful for the patient. As our senior design project, we designed and prototyped a novel medical device that facilitates fast, easy, and consistent hyoid suspension surgery. Through functional testing of our device in foam, ballistic gel, cow tendon, and human cadaver, we were able to prove the efficacy of our device for use in hyoid suspension surgery. We were also able to demonstrate through benchtop testing that our device is able to consistently output the force required to puncture the tissue surrounding the hyoid bone. Our device was successful in meeting all of our project goals and successfully proved our method as a viable proof of concept. To further develop this product and move toward commercialization, the displacement of the needle at the tip of the device should be increased, the method for carrying the suture should be revised, and the profile of the device should be decreased as much as possible.