This technique for treating hydrocephalus was developed in the late 1800’s and has not undergone significant change in two centuries.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, body fluid produced primarily in the choroid plexus of the ventricles of the brain. This fluid acts as a cushion or buffer for the brain, providing basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull. CSF is constantly being produced and reabsorbed within the body, with absorption occurring primarily in the arachnoid granulations.
Hydrocephalus (“increased water on the brain”) is a condition characterized by an imbalance between a relatively greater production rate of CSF and a relatively lesser absorption rate of said CSF such that there is an excess of CSF. The condition typically results in increased intracranial pressure which may be accompanied by a wide variety of secondary symptoms, including headaches, vomiting, nausea, papilledema, sleepiness, seizures, and coma.
CSF diversion via current shunting methods remains suboptimal. The most common type of shunting (ventriculoperitoneal, or VP shunting) typically includes tunneling a considerable length of tubing under the skin and into the peritoneum. One example of VP shunting is shown in Figure below where a ventricular catheter is inserted into the ventricles and connected with a shunt valve that is in turn connected to a peritoneal catheter that is tunneled behind the ear and through the subcutaneous tissue of the neck and thorax and into the peritoneal cavity. This approach to CSF shunting presents risks of infection, occlusion, disconnection, migration, discomfort, pseudocyst formation, bowel injury, and other issues. Furthermore, there remains a relatively high failure rate of such shunts, with an over 50% rate of shunt revision being observed in some series.
There is a need for an alternate treatment process to avoid tunneling shunt tubing inside the body. The most desirable is a method of directly
dispersing the fluid and disposing it by diffusion, absorption processes.
The transition of current process and product technology with a paradigm shift to a shunt-free and wireless product technology is described in this project.
Current VP Shunt
Reference: Reddy GK: Ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery and the incidence of shunt revision in adult patients with hemorrhage-related hydrocephalus. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 114, 1211–1216, 2012; Alleyne CH, Hassan M, Zabramski JM: The efficacy and cost of prophylactic and periprocedural antibiotics in patients with external ventricular drains, Neurosurgery 47:1124-1129, 2000).