Unobstructing Microdevices for Self-Clearing Implantable Catheters

Tech ID: 23507 / UC Case 2010-175-0

Summary

Dr. Jack Judy and colleagues in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA have developed an unobstructing microdevice for self-clearing catheters that alleviates flow obstruction.

Background

Implanted medical catheters are now an integral part of clinical care. However, many chronically implanted catheter systems are plagued with reduced performance as a result of prolonged accumulation of biological debris. For the neurological disorder hydrocephalus, obstruction of the shunt tubing that diverts cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain is one of the most commonly occurring complications and can lead to serious injury to the patient. Catheter obstruction therefore mandates frequent monitoring of a patient’s condition and eventual catheter replacement.

Innovation

Dr. Jack Judy and colleagues in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA have developed an unobstructing microdevice for self-clearing catheters that alleviates flow obstruction. The researchers designed micro-mechanical mechanisms to disrupt the accumulation of biological material and keep catheter pores clear of debris. This device may be directly integrated into commercially available catheter systems for use in existing surgical techniques (e.g. chronically implanted catheters). The technology holds great promise in actively managing the long-term cellular occlusion problems of conventional catheters.

Applications

Integrate into existing implantable catheters to alleviate flow obstruction

Advantages

  • Compatible with a wide range of catheter pore sizes
  • Low cost per device fabricated
  • Durable; initial testing showed that microactuators subjected to over 250 million cycles of actuation did not experience any significant change in its mechanical property

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,604,039 03/28/2017 2010-175
 

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Inventors

  • Judy, Jack W.

Other Information

Keywords

Catheter, obstruction, medical device, MEMS, hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal fluid

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