Intracranial Pressure Management


To develop a prototype of an improved externalized cerebrospinal fluid drainage system and to test it under simulated patient conditions

Anticipated Impact: 

The new drainage system promises greater patient mobility and improved safety, and requires less staff time to manage


External ventricular drains are placed to reduce intracranial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume and lower intracranial pressure (ICP) in situations such as brain trauma, brain hemorrhage, stroke, brain tumors, and hydrocephalus. Among other drawbacks, current drain systems require frequent adjustments by nurses to control drainage rate and require patients to remain completely still. The research team will develop a smart external drain system that automatically maintains a CSF drainage rate or ICP. The system will eliminate the need for manual upkeep by hospital staff and allow patients to move freely during treatment. The proposed device will facilitate more efficient patient monitoring by nurses and physicians, increase patient safety, and introduce mobility to currently immobilized patients (potentially leading to fewer complications and more rapid recovery). A company, Aqueduct Neurosciences, has been formed to commercialize the system.

Collaborating organization: Aqueduct Neurosciences, Inc.

2011 LSDF/WBBA Open House Poster

Intracranial Pressure Management

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Barry Lutz
Grantee Organization:
University of Washington
Grant Title:
An Auto-regulated Externalized Cerebrospinal Fluid Drainage System for Improved Control, Safety, and Patient Mobility in Neurosurgery Patients
Grant Cohort and Year:
2010 Second Round Commercialization (04)
Grant Period:
06/01/2011 - 05/31/2013 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
Drainage of fluid from the brain is a common procedure in hospitals for a variety of conditions including head trauma, hydrocephalus, and preparations for neurosurgery. Existing drainage systems are crude drip chambers that are manually adjusted and monitored by hospital staff. These systems have a high risk of overdrainage or underdrainage and require constant staff attention. Our team has developed a smart system capable of maintaining proper fluid drainage automatically, which will improve patient safety and reduce staff burden. The prototype device will be commercialized by Aqueduct Neurosciences.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact

Legislative Districts:
11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 45, 46

Health Impacts

Intracranial Pressure Management

Jun 6, 2011
Center for Commercialization, University of Washington