Technology Update: Moving Towards a Self-Sensing Shunt

The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) submits letters of support for grant applications and other activities that have the potential to benefit the hydrocephalus patient community. Recently, a letter of support was submitted for Senseer, a Los Angeles-based medical device company, which applied for funding to support the development of a “smart shunt”. We are happy to report that the National Science Foundation (NSF) responded by granting Senseer with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant, totaling $225,000 for a period of six months. 

The Goal

A prototype of Senseer’s “smart shunt.”

Senseer is developing a wirelessly operated multi-sensor module that can be integrated into current standard shunt therapies, allowing for remote monitoring of shunt status, therapeutic efficacy, and patient health. This means that a doctor would be able to monitor a patient’s shunt status in real-time in an outpatient setting.

What the Microsensors Will Measure

The microsensors are designed to measure five things:

(1) level of shunt obstruction (patency),

(2) cerebrospinal fluid flow rate,

(3) intracranial pressure,

(4) intracranial temperature, and

(5) cerebrospinal fluid pulse waveforms.

To date, pre-existing sensor technologies measure only a single parameter, which is insufficient to provide reliable and clinically actionable data. Therefore, Senseer’s approach uses multiple sensors to ensure greater accuracy. 

Sascha Lee, Senseer’s CEO, is excited about this technology and the potential benefits for patients and families.

“Remote monitoring for chronic disease treatment is a rapidly growing field which will have a huge impact on clinical practice in the US. Our team’s goal of developing a wireless, passive sensor module, which can be chronically implanted in the human body, shows great promise for improving the treatment of hydrocephalus and other chronic conditions. As hydrocephalus is a particularly underserved condition that could see huge benefit from remote monitoring, our team is extremely enthusiastic about serving this patient population as the primary market for our technology,” he said.

To read more about the grant, please click here.