Simulation of Existing and Future Electromechanical Shunt Valves in Combination with a Model for Brain Fluid Dynamics

  • Inga Margrit ElixmannEmail author
  • M. Walter
  • M. Kiefer
  • S. Leonhardt
Conference paper
Part of the Acta Neurochirurgica Supplementum book series (NEUROCHIRURGICA, volume 113)


Several models are available to simulate raised intracranial pressure (ICP) in hydrocephalus. However, the hydrodynamic effect of an implanted shunt has seldom been examined. In this study, the simple model of Ursino and Lodi [14]is extended to include (1) the effect of a typical ball-in-cone valve, (2) the effect of the size of the diameter of the connecting tube from valve to abdomen, and (3) the concept of a controlled electromechanical shunt valve in overall cerebrospinal fluid dynamics.

By means of simulation, it is shown how a shunt can lower ICP. Simulation results indicate that P and B waves still exist but at a lower ICP level and that, due to the exponential pressure-volume curve, their amplitude is also considerably lowered. A waves only develop if the valve is partially blocked. The resulting ICP is above the opening pressure of the valve, depending on the drain and resistance of the shunt.

The concept of a new electromechanical shunt was more successful than the traditional mechanical valves in keeping ICP at a desired level. The influence of the patient’s movements or coughing on ICP as well as the body position affecting the reference ICP, which can be measured, has not yet been modeled and should be addressed in future using suitable algorithms.


Hydrocephalus Shunt Mechatronic/electromechanical valve Model A waves B waves 



The authors thank the German Federal Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF) for financial support of the BMBF project “iShunt”.

Conflicts of interest statement Dr. M. Kiefer has received financial support in the past for activities other than this research, from Raumedic AG, Helmbrecht, Germany. All other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inga Margrit Elixmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Walter
    • 1
  • M. Kiefer
    • 2
  • S. Leonhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical EngineeringRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgerySaarland UniversityHomburg-SaarGermany

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