All You Need Is Lobe

Non-Invasive Intracranial Pressure Monitor


Member profile details

Membership level
2018-2019 Team
Project Thumbnail Image
Team Name
All You Need Is Lobe
Project Title
Non-Invasive Intracranial Pressure Monitor
Design Challenge
High pressure build-up within the skull, or elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), is associated with many serious complications such as head trauma and cranial hemorrhaging. Untreated, elevated ICP poses danger to many individuals, especially pediatric patients. In severe pathological cases, monitoring ICP is very important to avoid complications including brain damage and death. Currently, the standard method to measure ICP is to insert a catheter with a pressure sensor into the brain tissue. The invasive procedure involves cutting the skin and drilling a hole in the skull. This may lead to infection and hemorrhage, and requires a surgical procedure. Existing non-invasive methods are neither reliable nor accurate, or do not allow for continuous monitoring. Our team aims to design a novel non-invasive ICP monitor that reduces the discomfort of patients and increase their quality of life while maintaining accuracy and reliability.
Design Summary
Our project aims to design a novel non-invasive ICP monitor that requires no incision during the operation and produces accurate and reliable results for patients below 18 months old, who have unfused skull and fontanelle - a soft spot - on top of their head.

Adopting the seven-step engineering design process, we obtained information about the physiology behind elevated ICP from our clients and conducted thorough research on the existing solutions, including “Gold Standard” ventriculostomy, fontanelle palpation method, measurement of dilation of optic nerve sheath diameter and etc.. We generated many ideas, specifically for how to deduct ICP from a parameter that can be non-invasively measured and evaluated these ideas based on feasibility and quality. Three stages of prototyping occurred and eventually we produced Bend-Aid - a novel non-invasive ICP monitor.

Bend-Aid utilizes the property that elevated ICP would result in swelling fontanelle and contains three main components - outside casing for housing a flex sensor, hardware circuitry with wiring and a modular arduino code for signal acquisition and processing that could be compatible with various types of sensors. The current casing for the flex sensor is a DuoDERM wound dressing advised by our clients. Apart from the mathematical model correlating fontanelle bulging with quantitative ICP values, the device also includes a calibration module that corrects for differences in working resistance range of individual flex sensors, a calibration module that accounts for the skull curvature when taking measurements, an alert system that gives off alarm when ICP reaches abnormally high levels (> 20 cmH2O) and a data storage module that records data sets at given time intervals (every 5 minutes) for at least 7 days.

Preliminary testings showed promising results. Bend-Aid, deemed less invasive by all medical professionals surveyed, is able to measure ICP within ±6 cmH2O accuracy with an average time delay of 2.5 sec before producing stabilized readings. Additionally, it is also able to measure ICP for at least 7 days with little to no loss of accuracy.

Some add-on functions that we would like our device to have in the future include implementing a user interface and incorporating the device to bedside monitors that are currently in use in TCH. Upon passing clinical trials, Bend-Aid has the capacity to replace ventriculostomy and fontanelle palpation, delivering accurate ICP measurement in a non-invasive way.

Updated by April 29, 2019.
Date Updated
Monday, April 29, 2019
BIOE - Chester Koh - TCH
Sponsor Logo
  • Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Sabia Abidi
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • BIOE
Client First Name
Client Last Name
Client Company/Organization
Texas Children's Hospital / BCM
Award(s) and Recognition
Invited for Final Report Submission of ASAIO (Science, Medicine & Industry Innovating for the Future) 65th Annual Conference.

Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


Lead Industry Partners