A sensor was tested subdural and in vitro, simulating a supine infant with a ventricular-peritoneal shunt and controlled occlusions. The variable MEMS capacitive device is able to detect and forecast blockages, similar to early detection procedures in cancer patients. For example, with gradual occlusion development over a year, the method forecasts a danger over one month ahead of blockage. The method also distinguishes between ventricular and peritoneal occlusions. Because the sensor provides quantitative data on the dynamics of the cerebrospinal fluid, it can help test new therapies and work toward understanding hydrocephalus as well as idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus. The sensor appears to be a substantial advance in treating brain injuries treated with shunts and has the potential to bring significant impact in a clinical setting.
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