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Nipple Shield with Adhesive Lining and Conduit for Supplemental Nursing

Keeps Nipple Shield in Place and Allows Simultaneous Use of Supplemental Nursing Systems

This nipple shield features a gecko-inspired adhesive inner surface and has a design that accommodates a supplemental nursing system (SNS). The breastfeeding accessories market will reach $1.6 billion by 2025. Standard nipple shields are prone to fall off easily due to the angle at which breastfeeding occurs. Additionally, conventional nipple shields are not compatible with supplemental nursing systems. Nursing systems help mothers who cannot breastfeed their children, help train the infant’s sucking response, and can provide additional nutrients on top of breast milk.


Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a nipple shield with a dry adhesive inside that also incorporates a conduction system for supplemental nursing. This will prevent the nipple shield from shifting and allow use of a supplemental nursing system at the same time when needed.




Nipple shield with dry adhesive interior and built-in pathways to conduct a supplemental nursing system



  • Utilizes gecko-inspired adhesion system, keeping nipple shield in place during breastfeeding
  • Features built-in holes and pathways, ensuring compatibility with supplemental nursing systems
  • Secures by dry adhesion, making it easy to use and re-use


The nipple shield is made of flexible silicone that conforms to the shape of the nipple. The inner surface uses a dry adhesion mechanism based on a gecko’s feet, in which micro-scale pillars with angled mushroom tips provide an adhesive force that is controllable and directional. Each suck on the nipple shield pulls the mother’s nipple in further and latches it onto the adhesive more, creating a stronger attachment. To allow for supplemental nursing conduction, the nipple shield has a portal composed of two membranes along with microtubule pathways in the wall of the nipple shield. The portal with the two membranes is where the supplemental nursing tube enters. The membranes line up 180 degrees apart from each other, so that when a tube is not inserted one hole covers the other, preventing the infant from sucking in air. When supplemental nursing is needed, the tube goes through one hole on the outer membrane, between the membranes, through the other hole on the inner membrane, and then anchors and connects to the pathways.

Research Terms: Medical Sciences > Health
Keywords: ;
Technology Inventors: Ge Qu
Bruce Spiess
Technology Information URL:
University: University of Florida
Tech Transfer URL:

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