Novel Conformal Thermal Biosensors in the Evaluation of Shunt Function

Project: Research project

Project Details


Hydrocephalus is a major cause of morbidity for both children and adults, costing the US healthcare system up to 1 billion dollars per year [REF]. While there is no cure, management typically involves surgically diverting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to other spaces within the body using implantable devices called shunts. The use of shunts, however, is associated with a significant risk of malfunction and the need for reoperation. When shunt malfunction is suspected, non-invasive studies to assess device functionality may provide indirect evidence of reduced flow through the shunt system but are often non-diagnostic. Invasive imaging studies to measure CSF flow are not uniformly available and risk infection. Ultimately, surgical exploration is often necessary, further increasing the morbidity and cost associated with hydrocephalus. The ability to non-invasively assess CSF flow within a shunt device would therefore provide significant benefits to both patients and the healthcare system as a whole. This study aims to test a novel, non-invasive conformal thermal biosensor that can be placed on the skin to measure flow within implanted shunt tubing.
Effective start/end date1/1/182/29/20


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (AGREEMENT 1/25/18)


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