Engineers have developed a preliminary working model of the tube, or "smart sensor", which is capable of continuously monitoring multiple physiological parameters in patients. The tube also is capable of draining excess cerebrospinal fluid from the injured brain and could be used to deliver medications to the patient.
The prototype for a smart neuro-catheter was engineered by Chunyan Li, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Cincinnati department of neurosurgery. "Clinical monitoring is poised for exciting advances," Raj Narayan, chairman of the department of neurosurgery says. "When we can track what is going on in a patient's brain tissue, or blood, on a continuous basis, we can treat the patient much more promptly and effectively. We hope to revolutionise the field."
The smart sensor could benefit patients through real-time monitoring, as opposed to intermittent monitoring, which is the current standard of care and which reveals undesirable changes after they have occurred.
"Currently, advanced neuromonitoring requires placement of multiple devices," Lori Shutter, director of neurocritical dare says. "The ability to gather all information from one system has significant potential to increase our ability to manage patients who are critically ill from neurological conditions."
The spirally rolled device can simultaneously monitor intracranial glucose, oxygen, temperature and pressure, and it can be modified in the future to monitor other parameters as well. It has sensors inside the tube, where they can measure the biochemistry of cerebrospinal fluid, as well as on the outside, where they can measure changes within the brain tissue. The original prototype, eleven centimeters in length and 1.7 millimeters in diameter, is already evolving into an even smaller, more sophisticated tube.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Cincinnati