Continuous Real Time CSF Shunt Flow Monitor ShuntCheck

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43NS074486-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43NS074486
Amount: $257,203.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: NINDS
Solicitation Number: PA09-206
Small Business Information
3333 Street Road, SUITE 210, Bensalem, PA, -
DUNS: 828682240
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (215) 645-1280
Business Contact
Phone: (609) 865-4426
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Phase 1 SBIR will develop Continuous Real Time (CRT) ShuntCheck, the first portable, non- invasive device for real time, continuous monitoring of flow in CSF shunts. This device will result in improved clinicalmanagement of hydrocephalus by providing a rapid and non-invasive method for detecting CSF shunt obstruction in symptomatic patients, and for monitoring and researching shunt function in asymptomatic patients. Hydrocephalus, a common condition in which CSF accumulates in the brain ventricles, is corrected by placing a VP shunt that drains excess CSF to the abdomen. Shunts frequently malfunction, usually by obstruction, but the symptoms of shunt failure are unspecific - headache, nausea. Diagnosis of shuntmalfunction is expensive and presents risks (exposure to radiation from CT Scans, risk of infection from radionuclide testing) and regular, ongoing clinical management of shunted patients is complex (due to a lack of tools for investigating CSF over drainage, for assessing the performance of specific shunt valves and siphon control devices and for streamlining the adjustment of programmable shunt valves). A new, non-invasive thermal dilution test for shunt flow, ShuntCheck, has reduced diagnostic specificity due to intermittent shunt flow - patent shunts do not flow continuously, leading to a high level of false positive readings. There are currently no non-invasive, non-radiologic technologies for assessing shunt function and malfunction. The goal of this Phase 1 project is to develop a prototype device which continuously monitors CSF flow via thermal dilution, and to verify it in a bench and validate it in an animal model of CSF flow. The program is based upon a breakthrough innovation in our thermal dilution technology which allows for long term, continuous CSF flow measurement (like a Holter test for CSF flow). Our Phase 2 goal will be to conduct a full scale clinical study to assess the diagnostic accuracy and utility of our non-invasive test in identifying shunt malfunction in hydrocephalus patients. An important additional outcome of this project will likely be a new tool for better understanding shunt and CSF flow behavior in hydrocephalus patients. Shunt malfunction and management testing constitute approximately 600,000 shunt flow tests annually in the United States alone. NeuroDx's business model for this product involves the generation of revenue primarily from the ongoing sale of single- use, disposable sensors for these tests. The need for new diagnostic tools for managing hydrocephalus patients is highlighted by the NIH announcement Advanced Tools and Technologies for Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts (PA-09-206), to which this proposal is responding. Our proposal directly responds to the request for Diagnostic tools for use in a hospital or outpatient setting that work in real-time to quantitatively determine shunt function. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This proposal addresses the need for diagnostic tools for use in a hospital or outpatient setting that work in real-time to quantitatively determine shunt function by providing the first portable, non-invasive device for continuous monitoring of flow in CSF shunts. Obstruction of CSF shunts, a common complication in hydrocephalus, is currently diagnosed by radiation imaging techniques, such as CT Scan, or by invasive procedures, such as shunt tapping. This new tool will help neurosurgeons differentiate between intermittently flowing and obstructed shunts and will provide a valuable research tool forunderstanding shunt function.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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