Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts are fully implantable medical devices that are used to treat patients suffering from conditions characterized by elevated intracranial pressure, such as hydrocephalus. One of the primary causes of CSF shunt failure is mechanical obstruction of the ventricular catheter, a component of the shunt system implanted directly into the brain’s ventricular system. This study aims to characterize the CSF flow through ventricular catheters via a 3-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The fully-parametrized model has allowed for exploration of the catheter’s geometric design features, with the goal of reducing the incidence of catheter obstruction. As the first step towards this goal, a design optimization study was performed with the objective of achieving a uniform flow rate distribution among the catheter’s inlet holes. To perform this study, the CFD model was coupled with an optimization framework, and a large number of simulations were run on a high-performance computing system to determine the optimal design for target flow performance. This optimization study advances the field of CSF shunt design by providing systematically derived correlations between the catheter’s geometric parameters and CSF flow through the catheter’s inlet holes.

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