With the current design for shunt systems used to treat hydrocephalus, tissue from the brain ventricle can cause blockages that obstruct cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow through the proximal catheter. Previous work demonstrated that the reversing of flow through the proximal catheter can restore flow through a blocked catheter. Periodic backwash through the proximal catheter can prevent obstructions and maintain adequate drainage. This project aims to design a pump that can periodically reverse the flow of CSF to backwash the proximal catheter. To reduce the complexity of the implanted components, a simple diaphragm pump can be externally actuated. Actuation of the pump can be achieved using an electromagnet located outside of the body; a metal cap placed on the diaphragm can be magnetically manipulated to pump CSF and backwash the proximal catheter. Testing demonstrates the feasibility of this pump design with an achieved flow rate of 3.4 to 4 mL/min. This bicorporal pump used as part of a backwashing system may favorably change the shunt failure rate and provide a more robust treatment for hydrocephalus.

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