Question: Can I measure CSF turbidity in real time?

Cheesealmighty is asking a question about spectrometry
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by Cheesealmighty | March 17, 2022 10:23 | #30136

I'm a neurosurgery resident in Turkey. We are working on a system that will measure CSF density and content in real time.

We want to measure turbidity of the otherwise clear CSF that flows through the closed yet transparent line. So that we can see if the cell count/protein content of the fluid is increasing. Would it possible for us to modify the test chamber so that rather than a rectangular cuvette, a fluid line enters the measurement chamber and exits without interruption. We are thinking of an opaque chamber that forms an "U" so it can be dark inside for the measurement?

This is the device we're using for the CSF drainage:

The challenge is that we can't modify the drainage device itself, it has to get noninvasive measurements.

And would it be possible to differentiate what is causing the turbidity increase? As in, can we guess whether leukocytes or the erythrocytes increasing? And can we check if the glucose or protein levels are increasing within the CSF?


Has Medtronic been approached about this? That should probably be the first approach. As far as the rest of it goes... We made catheters, heart and urinary. Some of the catheters were inflatable. We had regulatory issues with those systems. That's before talking about CSF. There will definitely be many regulatory issues, as well as scientific issues, to resolve. I admire your abilities. Good luck.

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We won't be making any changes to the catheter itself, it's not much different from taking photos of the see through tube/collection chamber. It shouldn't really pose any issues.

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Hi @Cheesealmighty, thanks for sharing about your work. While it's not spectrometry, there are a couple research notes on turbidity sensors by @wmacfarl that might offer some additional ideas:

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