Hydrocephalus is characterized by the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the ventricles of the brain, resulting in an increase of intracranial pressure (ICP). Ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPS) are designed to prevent buildup of pressure in the brain by allowing excess CSF flow from the intracranial ventricles to the peritoneal cavity through a shunting mechanism. The shunt design presented in this paper is an inexpensive alternative to VPS, that is, a non-valve ventricular shunt design that directly routes CSF into the subarachnoid space.

We recognize that consideration of multiple design criteria and uncertainty management are critical for designing biomedical devices to ensure robust performance. Hence, our objective in this paper is to present a multi-objective robust design exploration of canine shunts for managing hydrocephalus. Our approach in robust design focuses on managing uncertainties to deliver design solutions that are relatively insensitive to uncertainties. Hence, a multi-objective robust design problem is formulated using the compromise Decision Support Problem (cDSP) construct to explore shunt designs that best satisfy the conflicting goals dealing with the pressure difference and the stress, and a robust design goal dealing with the variations in pressure difference. We compare the results against optimal solutions to build confidence in the proposed method to identify design solutions that are relatively insensitive to uncertainties. The method presented is generic and can be applied to the multi-objective robust design of similar biomedical devices.

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