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Skin sensor could prevent unnecessary surgeries, radiation

Band-Aid-like device non-invasively monitors shunt performance in patients with hydrocephalus

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Meet the researchers

Krishnan SiddharthSiddharth Krishnan, Co-lead author

Fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Rogers Research Group at Northwestern University

Krishnan can speak to media about the evolution of the device, its mechanics, how it works, how it was translated for patient care and how it is being tested in clinical trials. 

 

 

Ayer AmitDr. Amit Ayer, Co-lead author 

Sixth-year neurosurgery resident at Northwestern Medicine and MBA student at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern
Has treated Willie’s hydrocephalus for the last four years. 

Ayer can speak to media about hydrocephalus, what causes it, who it affects, how it is currently treated and what could happen to a patient if left untreated. Ayer can also speak about how this device could revolutionize current hydrocephalus shunt diagnostics and cut costs and risks for patients and their families. Additionally, Ayer can speak about how the authors are working on outsourced production on the scale of a few hundred sensors to support this study and further develop the technology.

 

Potts MatthewDr. Matthew Potts, Co-senior author 

Assistant professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician

Potts can speak to media about hydrocephalus, what causes it, who it affects, how it is currently treated and what could happen to a patient if left untreated. Additionally, he can speak about how this device could revolutionize current hydrocephalus shunt diagnostics and cut costs and risks for patients and their families. 

 

 

Rogers JohnJohn A. Rogers, Co-senior author 

Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery in the McCormick School of Engineering and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Rogers can give a concise overview as to how the sensor advances concepts in skin-like "epidermal electronics," which his research group, the Rogers Research Group, has been working on for nearly a decade. 

Additionally, he can speak to media about the evolution of the device, its mechanics, how it works, how it was translated for patient care, how it is being tested in clinical trials and how they are outsourcing production on the scale of a few hundred sensors to support this study and further develop the technology. 

Images

Sensor images

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Blue-gloved hand holding bandage-like sensor
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Wearable shunt monitor bends and flexes like a Band-Aid.

Bandage-like sensor on a woman's neck
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Band-aid-like wearable shunt monitor, as seen on woman's neck

Bandage-like electronic sensor on a woman's neck
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Inside look at wearable shunt monitor, as seen on a woman's neck

Flexible electronic sensor
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Close-up view of wearable thermal array temperature sensors

Shunt images

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Shunt in brain
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Functional shunt protruding from the brain during surgery

Video

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Visualization

Credit: Rogers Research Group, Northwestern University 

Caption: Data visualization highlighting the operation of the wearable thermal array as recorded during a live measurement. In this video, the epidermal device integrates conformally onto the skin at a location with an implanted catheter (a "shunt") to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid in patients suffering from hydrocephalus. 

This sensor pre-dates the Band-Aid-like wearable shunt monitor sensor the authors used in the clinical trial. The materials and thermal physics insights gained from this type of sensor allowed the study authors to refine this design into a much simpler platform suitable for clinical use and wireless integration.

The device uses an array of 100 precision temperature sensors to thermally map this location to detect characteristic heat signatures associated with fluid flow to quantitatively assess in a noninvasive manner how well the shunt is working. 

Soundbites

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How this device moves the field forward -- Siddharth Krishnan

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Broad overview of shunt malfunction, why this device is powerful -- Dr. Matthew Potts

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Overview of shunt monitoring, surgeries and how device is novel -- Dr. Amit Ayer

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Reading takes only five minutes -- Siddharth Krishnan

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