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Novel convection-enhanced delivery of neuro-oncology medications via a customized clear cranial implant



Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is a promising technique that generates a pressure gradient at the tip of an infusion catheter to deliver therapeutics directly through the interstitial spaces of the central nervous system. CED is a broadly applicable technique that can be used to deliver a variety of therapeutic compounds for a diversity of diseases including malignant gliomas, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Key features that can be improved in a novel CED device (compared to previous devices) include a better design for reliable safe housing of the CED device catheter and clear and customized cranial implants for better visualization and wireless communication. But perhaps the biggest improvement would be a portable system residing completely within the scalp. We propose a battery-powered custom cranial implant drug delivery system utilizing CED. The success of this project will have significant impact in the fields of neuro-oncology and brain tumor disease, in addition to diseases mentioned above.

In terms of technical feasibility, we believe this project is feasible for a design team and has many pathways for a solution. A solution will most likely involve the use of microfluidics to transport and store the therapeutic drugs, thus significant background literature already exists. Challenges of a solution include ensuring that fluid inside the body does not contaminate or seep into the implant, and that the implant can effectively and accurately deliver drugs. Both challenges can be evaluated in a prototype through preliminary mechanical testing (e.g. submerging the implant in liquid with a similar viscosity to blood within the scalp) before moving on to animal testing. In addition, a solution.
In terms of commercial opportunity, the market is sparse. Any CED devices that have been previously developed have failed at clinical trials, lacking the key features listed above. Since the final product for this project would be adding to the initial implant Dr. Gordon’s team created, it is a one of a kind solution with zero competition. The overall product – Dr. Gordon’s implant and our solution – will be solving a need in a market with no major competitors or developments.

Needs Statement: There is a need for a portable cranial implant drug delivery system utilizing Convection-enhanced delivery in order to adequately deliver therapeutic drug compounds through the interstitial spaces of the central nervous system to treat CNS diseases and disorders.

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