Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is an emerging method for treating highly aggressive and infiltrative forms of brain cancer, like glioblastomas. However, drawbacks of utilizing CED include limited availability of tools capable of bypassing the blood-brain barrier and blood-brain tumor barrier to deliver therapeutics to saturate the tumor and adjacent tumor periphery where highly infiltrative glioma cells may be located. The consequence is that tumor recurrence at or near the original tumor site is inevitable.
The Convection-Enhanced Thermo-Therapy Catheter System (CETCS) is a remote-operable device comprising of an arborizing catheter and therapeutic delivery control system designed to maximize the distribution of therapeutics in target tissue volumes. In this study, we evaluate the performance of the CETCS in agarose gel brain tissue phantoms while monitoring the volume of infusate delivered, the dispersal volume of the infusate, and the mean distribution ratio of infusate. We report high infusion flow rates increase infusate dispersal volume but can result in backflow up the microneedles tracts; constant microneedle retraction maximizes infusate dispersal volume; and finally, low infusion flow rates resulted in better control of infusion cloud shape and minimized occurrence of backflow along microneedles.