CINCINNATIThe U.S. Department of Defense has awarded researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) a $2.1 million Advanced Technology/Therapeutic Development Award to develop the next generation of brain monitors.
The researchers' novel, multitasking "lab on a tube" is designed to provide continuous brain monitoring of patients who have suffered brain injury or other neurological emergencies and is capable of simultaneously draining cerebrospinal fluid.
The ultra-thin, spirally rolled tubealso known as a "smart catheter" or "smart sensor"would allow real-time monitoring of seven different parameters with a single catheter placed inside the brain through a hole in the skull. The seven parameters are intracranial pressure, temperature, brain oxygenation, cerebral blood flow, EEG, cerebral lactate and glucose. In current practice, only two or three of these parameters are measured in most patients.
"It's extremely exciting," says Jed Hartings, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of neurosurgery at the UC College of Medicine and director of clinical monitoring for the Mayfield Clinic. "Most advances in the treatment of brain injury during the last 30 years have come from clinical observational science. Our ability to make such advances is based on our ability to monitor different aspects of the changing physiology of the brain as it recovers from injury.
"There are currently several methods for monitoring different aspects of brain physiology, but they involve separate devices, made largely by different companies," continues Hartings, the co-principal investigator. "The devices require placement of separate probes in the brain, which increases the risk of complications, is more expensive, and is logistically difficult. In addition, many of those modalities require expert training to operate the monitors and interpret the results."
The new lab-on-a-tube, Hartings says, would make all of the informatio
|Contact: Cindy Starr|
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center