Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Invention Could Improve Treatment for Children with "Water on the Brain"

27.09.2010
Researchers create device to find ways to improve commonly used hydrocephalus treatment

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.”

This project was supported by the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Van Andel Research Institute, and STARS-kids (Seeking Techniques Advancing Research in Shunts).

About Van Andel Institute
Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process. VARI, the research arm of VAI, is dedicated to probing the genetic, cellular and molecular origins of cancer, Parkinson and other diseases and working to translate those findings into effective therapies. This is accomplished through the work of over 200 researchers in 18 on-site laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. VARI is affiliated with the Translational Genomics Research Institute, (TGen), of Phoenix, Arizona.

Joe Gavan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vai.org

Further reports about: Andel Brain CSF Cancer treatment Medicine Utah VARI birth defect invention

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>