Research ArticleBiosensors

Epidermal electronics for noninvasive, wireless, quantitative assessment of ventricular shunt function in patients with hydrocephalus

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Science Translational Medicine  31 Oct 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 465, eaat8437
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat8437

Sensors for shunts

Ventricular catheters (shunts) relieve pressure on the brain by rerouting excess cerebrospinal fluid that accumulates in patients with hydrocephalus. Catheter occlusion or malfunction can be difficult to diagnose without medical imaging or surgery. Here, Krishnan et al. fabricated thin, flexible, epidermally adherent sensors to monitor subdermal shunt function. In five subjects with hydrocephalus, the sensors could detect direction-dependent heat transport associated with fluid flow at skin sites over the catheter versus skin adjacent to the catheter. The sensors detected shunt malfunctions in some patients that were confirmed by imaging or surgery. With wireless data transfer capabilities, these flexible sensors offer a noninvasive way to monitor shunt function.

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