135. the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid (csf) in the spinal canal

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Juan Carlos Del Alamo | Juan C. Lasheras

Primary Student
Name: Ernesto Criado Hidalgo
Email: ecriadoh@ucsd.edu
Phone: 203-435-8199
Grad Year: 2018

Absence of CSF circulation in the spinal canal has been shown to impede its physiological function that includes, among others, supplying nutrients to neuronal and glial cells and removing the waste products of cellular metabolism. Radionuclide scanning images published in a Nature paper by Di Chiro in 1964 showed a rapid upward migration of particle tracers from the lumbar region of the spinal canal toward the cranial vault. These observations were the basis for the hypothesis that there must be an active downward and upward bulk circulation responsible for bringing fresh CSF into the spinal canal and returning a portion of it to the cranial vault. However, the existence of this slow moving bulk circulation in the spinal canal has been a subject of dispute for the last 50 years. To date, there has been no physical explanation for the mechanism responsible for the establishment of such a bulk motion. Using in-vitro measurements and perturbation analysis of the flow in an idealized model of the spinal canal we have demonstrated that the establishment of such circulation is due to a steady flow streaming mechanism caused by fluid inertia. Finding the mechanism regulating the bulk motion of the CSF in the spinal canal has important implications in optimizing targeted drug delivery systems in the intrathecal (the fluid around the spinal chord) and in improving the current understanding of the etiology of a large class of neurological conditions.

Industry Application Area(s)
Life Sciences/Medical Devices & Instruments

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