Convection enhanced delivery (CED) is a method for delivering therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier to the brain and central nervous system. CED can be used to treat various disease, including brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, and is generally characterized as a minimally invasive technique. While CED has shown some promise in clinical applications, the current techniques can involve opening significant areas of the scalp, underlying muscles, and the skull to expose portions of the brain for insertion of infusion systems. Opening these areas for accurate placement of infusion systems can prolong the healing process and render the patient susceptible to post-surgical complications.
A surgeon in the Department of Neurosurgery at the UNC Health Care medical center has developed a safety sheath for brain infusion systems to improve patient safety and treatment outcomes. This sheath allows for precision placement and insertion of the infusion system into the brain, while minimizing the open surgical area. The sheath contains components that can be retracted and extended for precise placement of the infusion tip for delivery of the therapeutic. While another component of the sheath optimizes patient safety though an interaction with the patient’s skull to stabilize the entire system and prevent any unwanted movement. Additionally, the sheath allows for a minimal incision to be made in a patient’s scalp, which aids in rapid healing and recovery after treatment.