Hydrodynamic Lab for Hydrocephalus Treatment Innovation

linJulian Lin

Department of Neurosurgery
OSF HealthCare System/UICOMP

Hydrocephalus treatment with shunts is fraught with failure. We have previously studied the flow dynamics in proximal catheters and developed the Rivulet catheter. We are establishing synthetic models to simulate growing infants’ heads. The goal is to establish the pressure volume relationships as infants’ heads grow, following the typical head growth curve. Variables and scenarios exist for fused/unfused sutures and hydrocephalus. The model allows for continuing real-time measurement of pressure, and ports exist that allow fluid drainage to test new proximal catheters and placement of micro instrumentations. Various projects will study the relationship between tonometry (non-invasive pressure measurement) and the actual pressure. With engineering collaboration, we hope to design and test ICP sensors that can be delivered via a 14-gauge Touhy needle and monitored with a smartphone. Another potential project involves development of cranial distractors to control ICP, which will complement our current flow reversal micropump to unclog occluded catheters.


  1. Cole D, Warren S, Kroeter B, Flatt M, Nair K, Morris M, Lin J. Design of a Bi-Corporal Pump for the Treatment of Hydrocephalus. Med. Devices 6: 017528, 2012.
  2. Lin J, Morris M, Olivero W. Computational and Experimental Study of Proximal Ventricular Catheters. Technical Note. J Neurosurg 99: 426-431, 2003. PMID: 12924722.
  3. Mattei T, Martin M, Nowak K, Smith D, Yee J , Goulart C, Zborowski A, Lin J. Addressing the Siphoning Effect in New Shunts Designs by Decoupling the Activation Pressure and the Pressure Gradient across the Valve: Technical Note. J Neurosurg: Peds11:181-187, 2013. PMID: 23215676.



Julian Lin, MD, is a board-certified pediatric neurosurgeon and clinical associate professor in neurosurgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. He is an active member of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons. He believes in using technology to solve complex medical illnesses such as hydrocephalus. Over the past 10 years, he has collaborated with Bradley University engineers in studying and designing medical devices to treat hydrocephalus.