10 Finalists Announced For Dare-to-Dream Medtech Design Challenge (#2)

Aqueduct Stenosis Buster

September 17, 2013

2 Min Read
10 Finalists Announced For Dare-to-Dream Medtech Design Challenge (#2)

A condition called Hydrocephalus, an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)in the brain, is often caused by an clog (blood, tissue) in one of the narrow outflow channels in the middle of the brain called the Aqueduct of Sylvius. This backup/accumulation of CSF compresses the brain from inside the lateral ventricles outward against the inside of the skull with terrible consequences from increased intracranial pressure. The standard of care is to re-route the CSF with a Ventriculo-Peritoneal shunt through tube through a hole in the skull and under the skin along the body to the belly. This implant has two tubes and a flow control valve and is plagued with problems from implant occlusion, infection and other factors that require a surgery to repair or replace the shunt components. The idea is to adapt existing neurovascular interventional products that treat cerebral aneurysms and AVMs to access the CSF system from the spinal column up into the narrow CSF channels in the brain to un-clog the blockage to restore normal CSF outflow through the Aqueduct and eliminate the need for a shunt. There are also a number of coronary and peripheral vascular products to break through "chronic total occlusions" in blood vessels that could be miniaturized for use in the CSF system of the brain.

Hydrocephalus, at the relatively small volumes of 150,000 procedures globally per year, is a condition that limps along with no substantial improvement in treatment in 60 years since the first shunt was implanted. It is not uncommon to run into a Hydrocephalus patient who's had 30 surgeries to replace a malfunctioning shunt implant. The procedure volumes are low but the cost to the healthcare system is staggering. I've had five surgeries myself but I'm lucky.


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