Office for Technology Commercialization

Standardized Test for Dysphagia

Technology #98018

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
Dysphagia TestDysphagia Diet
Zata M. Vickers, PhD
Professor and Program Coordinator, Department of Food Science and Nutrition
External Link (
Carlos Aguilar, PhD
Donald Tymchuck
Managed By
Raj Udupa
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-3966
Patent Protection
US Patent 5,976,084

Dysphagia Test for Type and Severity

A method to test for type and severity of dysphagia provides enhanced diagnostics to plan a more effective and safer diet plan. The method uses digestible materials with specific parameters that the patient can eat and then examining any dysphagic response via non-fluoroscopic methods. This process is then repeated with at least one more digestible material with slightly different properties. The level of swallowing difficulty or discomfort can be used to determine severity and possibly type of the dysphagia. This information can be used in determining a more precise diet plan that is appropriate for the patient, thus reducing the risk of choking, aspiration of food or liquid into the lungs, and discomfort.

MN-IP Try and Buy
MN-IP Try and Buy term sheet available upon request. Contact Raj Udupa for specific details.

Complications of Swallowing Difficulty

Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, can cause choking, aspiration of food or liquid into the lungs, incomplete administration of medication, and discomfort to the victims. It may be present in up to 22% of the population over fifty. Methods exist for diagnosing and treating dysphagia, but with the exception of extreme methods such as fluoroscopic examination, no simple methods exist for the evaluation of the dysphagia severity and type. Without accurate means to determine severity and type of dysphagia, diet plans may not be well suited for a patient’s dysphagia.


  • Comparative method for evaluating severity or type of dysphagia

  • Ingestible materials can be selected based on initial appearance of dysphagia severity

  • Materials can be used that cause the least discomfort for the patient -Less-subjective evaluation of dysphagia severity/type