center_img Share1NEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: Links to video and high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.David [email protected] [email protected] respond to pressure – in babiesRice U. team’s intracranial pressure monitor will help docs diagnose infants at risk of brain damageHOUSTON – (April 30, 2019) – Feeling the soft spot atop a newborn’s head can give a doctor a sense of whether there’s too much pressure inside, but Rice University bioengineering students have found a way to get more comprehensive data without an invasive procedure.The student team at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering created a seemingly simple but sophisticated system to monitor high intracranial pressure (ICP) within the skulls of infants, a condition that affects more than 400,000 every year. ICP can be caused by trauma to the brain and is a marker for hydrocephalus, a buildup of excess cerebral spinal fluid within the brain’s ventricles.Their Bend-Aid, created in collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital doctors at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, combines an old-school adhesive bandage with a sensor that has the potential to replace two current techniques: Palpating the child’s soft spot to get a general sense of pressure, or drilling into the skull to insert an accurate but highly invasive sensor. A system developed by Rice University engineering students is designed to monitor high intracranial pressure within the skulls of infants, a condition that affects more than 400,000 every year. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2019/04/0506_LOBE-2-web.jpgRice University senior bioengineering students — from left, Sammi Lu, Brett Stern, Tensae Assefa and Patricia Thai — set up a test of their system to monitor intracranial pressure in newborns. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Rice University senior bioengineering students created a noninvasive device to monitor intracranial pressure in newborns. From left, Tensae Assefa, Sammi Lu, Kiara Reyes Gamas, Brett Stern and Patricia Thai. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description https://news-network.rice.edu/news/files/2019/04/0506_LOBE-6-web-3.jpgRice University senior bioengineering students created a noninvasive device to monitor intracranial pressure in newborns. From left, Tensae Assefa, Sammi Lu, Kiara Reyes Gamas, Brett Stern and Patricia Thai. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Return to article. Long DescriptionRice senior Sammi Lu attaches a sensor to a mannequin to test a noninvasive system designed to monitor intracranial pressure in infants. Photo by Jeff FitlowThe non-invasive method created by seniors Sammi Lu, Kiara Reyes Gamas, Tensae Assefa, Patricia Thai and Brett Stern allows clinicians to monitor babies for as long as necessary to build a record of intracranial pressure over time that would be impossible to acquire through occasional palpitation.“What physicians usually do is feel the soft spot where the skull hasn’t fused together yet,” Thai said. “If it’s tense, that’s a sign of higher pressure. If it’s sunken, it’s low pressure. But it’s really subjective between doctors and previous research showed it’s not very accurate.“There’s a need for a quantitative and continuous method to measure pressure in the skulls of infants, to see changes in ICP over time,” she said.The team embedded a soft, ribbon-like sensor with a 2.2-inch working length into a bandage that, when affixed to the baby’s head, reports to a data processor when bent in or out by the changing shape of the soft spot, called the fontanelle. The fontanelle generally closes after 18 months as the skull plates fuse.“From our literature search, we discovered there is a correlation of ICP levels within the skull space and the bending level of the fontanelle,” Lu said. The team used that data to build a mathematical model that correlates the sensor’s bending angle to standard measures of ICP. Rice University senior bioengineering students — from left, Sammi Lu, Brett Stern, Tensae Assefa and Patricia Thai — set up a test of their system to monitor intracranial pressure in newborns. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Return to article. Long Description Rice University senior engineering student Sammi Lu attaches a sensor to a mannequin to test a noninvasive system designed to monitor intracranial pressure in infants. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Rice University senior engineering student Sammi Lu attaches a sensor to a mannequin to test a noninvasive system designed to monitor intracranial pressure in infants. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)last_img read more