Navigation Links
New invention could improve treatment for children with 'water on the brain'

Grand Rapids, Mich. (September 23, 2010) Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) scientists participated in a study with researchers from the University of Utah that could help find ways to improve shunt systems used to treat the neurological disorder hydrocephalus, or "water on the brain," the leading cause of brain surgery for children in the United States. Researchers studied the shunt systems under a variety of conditions by creating a bioreactor that mimics the environment inside patients.

Hydrocephalus is an excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain and is one of the most common birth defects, affecting approximately one in 500 children every year. Another 6,000 children annually develop hydrocephalus during the first two years of life. The pressure created by too much CSF can affect mental ability, balance, personality, and vision, result in headaches and seizures, and even lead to death.

"This paper is a very valuable contribution to the field of hydrocephalus research," said Pat McAllister, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Basic Hydrocephalus Research and Adjunct Professor of Physiology and Bioengineering at University of Utah School of Medicine. "Tragically, practically all patients with hydrocephalus are at risk for shunt malfunctions, which invariably produce more brain injury, and most of these patients must undergo multiple surgeries to remove obstructed catheters. These studies represent significant advancements in our attempts to prevent cells from blocking shunt catheters, and we look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Resau and his colleagues."

Hydrocephalus is typically treated by implanting shunt systems in the brain that can divert the flow of CSF to other areas of the body where it can be absorbed into the circulatory system. However, complications due to blockage occur in up to 61% of patients, and an estimated 50% of shunts need to be replaced within two years. University of Utah researcher Carolyn Harris, a Ph.D. candidate in bioengineering, designed the hydrocephalus shunt catheter bioreactor to study shunt systems under a variety of conditions to find ways to improve the treatment.

The bioreactor mimics the conditions inside the patient's body more closely than growing cells in a Petri dish. Cells suspended in fluid are pumped through tubing connected to catheters used in shunt systems, oriented both horizontally and vertically. Researchers can study and control factors such as flow rate, pressure changes, and pulsation frequency, which can vary from patient to patient, and determine how each affects cells' adhesion to the catheters.

VARI researchers provided imaging and flow cytometry to determine the number of cells that adhered to the catheters and the characteristics of those cells.

"This project grew out of a collaboration to see if we could develop a material that would resist the growth of cells," said VARI Distinguished Scientific Investigator Jim Resau, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study. "So actually our part was to image and quantify the effect of certain components to inhibit the build-up of scar-like cells. This approach could also be applied to other instruments inserted into the body, such as electrodes."


Contact: Joe Gavan
Van Andel Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. UGA licenses invention that kills food-borne pathogens in minutes
2. Tel Aviv University invention busts dust
3. Vitiligo skin disorder could yield clues in fight against melanoma
4. Saliva proteins could help detection of oral cancer
5. Research about plant viruses could lead to new ways to improve crop yields
6. Nanodiamond drug device could transform cancer treatment
7. UNC study on properties of carbon nanotubes, water could have wide-ranging implications
8. So-called sandfish could help materials handling and process technology specialists
9. Discovery of natural compounds that could slow blood vessel growth
10. Researchers design artificial cells that could power medical implants
11. Herbicide-resistant grape could revitalize Midwest wine industry
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/20/2015)... Connecticut , November 20, 2015 ... authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market ... CEO, Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed on ... interview will air on this weekend on Bloomberg ... Latin America . --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... , Nov. 19, 2015  Although some 350 companies ... dominated by a few companies, according to Kalorama Information. These ... 51% of the market share of the 6.1 billion-dollar ... The World Market for Molecular Diagnostic s .    ... market is still controlled by one company and only ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... November 18, 2015 --> ... a new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market - ... 2015 - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture recognition ... anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at a ... North America dominated the global gesture ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... ANNAPOLIS, Md. , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, ... of Directors has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights ... its net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 ... --> --> PharmAthene,s use of its ... an "ownership change" as defined in Section 382 of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, 2015 ... a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening ... will present at the LD Micro "Main Event" investor ... PT. The presentation will be webcast live and posted ... also be available at the conference for one-on-one meetings ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the ... other AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... genomics company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding ... an AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: