An endoscopic surgical device designed by the Chinese University Gastrointestinal Research Group to stop peptic ulcer bleeding without cutting the patient has helped to win an award for technological progress. The device, named the Eagle Claw, was designed to replace conventional surgery. It is part of the project, entitled 'Innovative Non-surgical treatments of Peptic Ulcer Bleeding', led by Joseph Sung Jao-yiu of the university's Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, that won the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award for the treatment of peptic ulcer bleeding. Sydney Chung Sheung-chee, former dean of the Faculty of Medicine, made the device with collaboration from the Apollo Hospitals Group and Olympus. The team was recognised on Tuesday in Beijing during the National Office for Science and Technology Awards ceremony. Dr Chung said inspiration came from an eagle catching a fish with its talons. Research for the device took 10 years, and the first test used a pig. Eventually the device stopped peptic ulcer bleeding in six pigs within seven minutes, and the pigs survived with no return of bleeding. Despite the success with pigs, the team has decided it is not yet ready to be used on humans. Philip Chiu Wai-yan, another team member and associate professor of the Department of Surgery, said the quality of the device needed to be improved and more staff needed training to ensure it would be used safely. He said the Eagle Claw would be useful in various types of operations on internal organs by entering the body through a natural opening, such as the mouth or the anus. With more research, Dr Chiu said, the device could be used for gastric bypasses for obese patients and even appendectomies by entering through the mouth. A 10-year study showed that despite a decreasing trend in patients with bleeding peptic ulcer disease dying, there was a rise from 20.3 per cent to 40.5 per cent in deaths for those whose endoscopic procedures had failed and needed other types of surgery. It is because elderly patients are so high risk for this type of surgery that there is a need to get away from lengthy operations. The research team said Eagle Claw would help to increase their survival and shorten their recovery time. The State Council had established the awards in the science and technology fields to reward outstanding contributions.