This Phase II SBIR will develop Continuous Real Time (CRT) ShuntCheck, the first portable, non- invasive device for real time, continuous monitoring of changes in flow in CSF shunts. This device will result in improved clinical management of hydrocephalus by providing a non-invasive method for monitoring and researching shunt function. 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 shunt malfunction is expensive and presents risks (exposure to radiation from CT Scans, risk of infection from radionuclide testing). Additionally, 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). NeuroDx's existing device, ShuntCheck-Micro-Pumper, is a shunt obstruction detector and addresses the need for a non-invasive test for shunt malfunction. While this makes it a valuable tool for the Emergency Dept, the short duration of the test limits its utility for shunt valve adjustment, investigating suspected shunt over drainage, etc. A non-invasive, non-radiologic device which can track changes in CSF flow rate would address many ongoing clinical management needs and become a valuable tool for the neurosurgery clinic. In our Phase I studies, we developed a laboratory prototype CRT based upon a breakthrough innovation in our thermal dilution technology and validated its safety and accuracy in bench and animal studies. CRT can reliably differentiate between no, low and robust shunt flow and can track changes in shunt flow rates over extended time periods. The goal of this Phase II project is to refine CRT ShuntCheck from a laboratory prototype to a production-ready device, validate its safety and accuracy in bench and animal testing, and complete a 510k submission for FDA clearance. Post-Phase II clinical studies will demonstrate the clinical utility and cost effectiveness of CRT ShuntCheck for streamlining valve adjustment in pediatric and in adult NPH patients. 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. Shunt management testing constitutes approximately 105,000 shunt flow tests annually in the United States alone. 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 application is responding. Our application directly responds to the request for Diagnostic tools for use in a hospital or outpatient setting that work in real-time to quantitatively determine shun function.
This application 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 real time monitoring of changes in flow in CSF shunts. 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. This new device will address many ongoing clinical management needs and become a valuable tool for the neurosurgery clinic.