Child's Nervous System

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 37–48 | Cite as

New designs of ventricular catheters for hydrocephalus by 3-D computational fluid dynamics

  • Marcelo GalarzaEmail author
  • Ángel Giménez
  • Olga Pellicer
  • José Valero
  • José M. Amigó
Original Paper



Based on a landmark study by Lin et al. of the two-dimensional flow in ventricular catheters (VCs) via computational fluid dynamics (CFD), we studied in a previous paper the three-dimensional flow patterns of five commercially available VC. We found that the drainage of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) mostly occurs through the catheter’s most proximal holes. In this paper, we design five VC prototypes with equalized flow characteristics.


We study five prototypes of VC by means of CFD in three-dimensional (3-D) automated models and compare the fluid-mechanical results with our previous study of currently in use VC. The general procedure for the development of a CFD model calls for transforming the physical dimensions of the system to be studied into a virtual wire-frame model, which provides the coordinates for the virtual space of a CFD mesh. The incompressible Navier–Stokes equations, a system of strongly coupled, nonlinear, partial differential equations governing the motion of the flow field, are then solved numerically.


By varying the number of drainage holes and the ratio hole/segment, we improved flow characteristics in five prototypes of VC. Models 1, 2, and 3 have a distal to proximal decreasing flow. Model 4 has an inverse flow to the previous ones, that is, a distal to proximal increasing flow, while model 5 has a constant flow over the segments.


New catheter designs with variable hole diameter, number of holes, and ratio hole/segment along the catheter allow the fluid to enter the catheter more uniformly along its length, thus reducing the chance that the catheter becomes occluded.


Hydrocephalus Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) Ventricular catheter Shunt Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Flow 


Disclosure of interest

Patenting is in progress for the VC prototype models.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo Galarza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ángel Giménez
    • 2
  • Olga Pellicer
    • 3
  • José Valero
    • 2
  • José M. Amigó
    • 2
  1. 1.Regional Department of NeurosurgeryVirgen de la Arrixaca University HospitalMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Operations Research CenterUniversity Miguel HernándezElcheSpain
  3. 3.Department of Health PsychologyUniversity Miguel HernándezElcheSpain

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