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Computational and in vitro analysis of intrathecally injected drug dispersion

Grant number: 19/10704-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 16, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering - Bioengineering
Principal Investigator:Bruno Souza Carmo
Grantee:Fernanda Teixeira Costa
Supervisor abroad: Andreas Linninger
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/19419-5 - Computational analysis of the dispersion of intrathecally injected drugs, BP.IC


Drug administration by intrathecal infusion is a very attractive option for circumventing the blood-brain-barrier in the treatment of pain and spasticity and has shown more efficacy in the treatment with less side effects and a better cost-benefit ratio. However, there are no clear standards that can guide the best way to program the infusion pumps in order to achieve the best results. Currently, the infusion pump parameters and flow modes are chosen empirically and there is no method that assesses how the drug dispersion in the subarachnoid space is altered by the different programming modes. The goal of this internship is to perform in-vitro experiments of tracer dispersion in a surrogate bench-top model of a real spine and subarachnoid space. Afterwards, computational models will be produced and validated with the experimental data. The main product of this internship will be a well-tested methodology to develop numerical models of the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid and drug dispersion in the subarachnoid space. This methodology can later be used to obtain models able predict the medicine distribution in geometries obtained from imaging exams from real patients with central nervous system lesions, allowing for the analysis of variations of infusion configurations.