NJIT receives patent for new shunt to aid brain-injured patients

January 3, 2012

NJIT Professor Gordon Thomas and NJIT Research Professor Reginald Farrow, both in the department of physics, and NJIT alumnus Sheng Liu, formerly a doctoral student of both researchers and now an engineer at a biotech company, were awarded a patent today for the NJIT SmartShunt, a unique device to help patients with brain injuries.

The patent, entitled "No Clog Shunt Using a Compact Fluid Drag Path" (US Patent Number 8,088,091), discloses a device that enables the non-invasive wireless monitoring of both the extremely slow flow of cerebrospinal fluid as well as tiny changes in pressure in a shunt that drains fluid out of the brain. Ordinary shunts are commonly used by patients suffering from severe excess pressure in the brain due to or .

"A serious problem with shunts is that they may malfunction or become obstructed. The symptoms include a severe headache, but can be confusing, particularly when patients are small children," said Thomas. Such uncertainty can lead to the performance of unnecessary and unpleasant surgical procedures or, alternatively, to the postponement of what could be life-saving medical interventions.

"The technology will enable patients and physicians to determine whether cerebrospinal is in fact, impaired," added Farrow. The device will also allow those involved to determine better what medical procedures should be performed

The NJIT SmartShunt™ includes a set of components that are geared toward reducing the potential for obstruction. It is designed to have a lifetime of more than a decade because it needs no internal power. "The SmartShunt™ will also be a valuable new tool for research into what extent diet, motion and medication of patients can improve the pressure and flow of the fluid in the brain," Thomas added.

The NJIT team has been working on this device since September 2004 with grants from New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology and most recently from the National Institutes of Health.

Explore further: NJIT and UMDNJ license personal tonometer technology for innovative glaucoma testing

Related Stories

NJIT and UMDNJ license personal tonometer technology for innovative glaucoma testing

May 17, 2011
NJIT and UMDNJ have executed a license agreement with The Incubation Factory, St. Louis, MO, covering their personal tonometer technology on which a patent is pending. The tonometer was developed by a research team led ...

Novel combined therapy extends life, diminishes pain in brain cancer patients

July 14, 2011
Approximately five to ten percent of patients with primary or metastatic cancer suffer from devastating neurological complications such as headaches, seizures, confusion, difficulty swallowing and visual disturbances. These ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.