CPHTI Researchers Developing Technologies to Improve the Treatment of Children with Craniosynostosis
Craniosynostosis, a condition that causes the bone plates in the skill to fuse too soon, affects approximately one in every 2,500 births in the United States. In perspective, that is about 1,825 infants born a year with craniosynostosis. If crainosynotosis is left untreated, developmental problems may ensue.
Barbara Boyan,Ph.D., director of Atlanta- Based Center for Pediatric Healthcare Technology Innovation, along with other researchers of the center, is making critical strides in research discoveries and developing technologies which will help to slow rapid growth of fusing skull bones sutures and determine the rate of growth at which the sutures are fusing.
The problem herein lies in the need to perform multiple surgeries within (what is often) a short time frame (dependent upon the rate of growth of the sutures) of the young children, often times back-to-back. The surgeries prove to be elaborately invasive. The surgeries include the surgeon breaking up the bones of the skull and relocation them with plates and screws to allow the brain room for growth. The length of time between required surgeries can be extended with monoriting devices which would provide images of growth after the 1st surgery - this would allow for interventions to be explored and put into action before the actually performing the second surgery.
The breakthrough developments of the researchers at CPHTI include the invention of a non-invasive technique to monitor bone growth with tomography images, and the design of a gel to be injected into the gap created between skill bones during the first surgery - a hydrogel.
The first invention would allow for intervention to be pursued in the cases where the bone is fusing back together too rapidly after the first surgery through monitoring; the second development would be a method of intervention utilized in the first surgery to slow the fusion of sutures.
To read the full article written by Abby Robinson, click here
Some of the researchers of CPHTI mentioned in this article include:
Barbara Boyan, Ph.D., Center Director of CPHTI; Price Gilbert, Jr. Chair in Tissue Engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University; Associate dean for research and innovation in the Georgia Tech College of Engineering .
Joseph Williams,M.D., Co-Director of CPHTI, Clinical Director, craniofacial plastic surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite; Clinical assistant professor, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Emory University
Chris Herman M.D. /Ph.D., A student in the Coulter Department, Georgia Tech/Emory
Rene Olivares-Navarrete,Ph.D. Coulter Department research scientist, Georgia Tech/Emory
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