Researchers at the University of Cincinnati Department of Neurosurgery will receive a grant to help solve a common problem with skull base tumor removal surgery through the nose. UC Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Dr. Jonathan Forbes explains, "Across the US, rates of post-operative spinal fluid leakage after minimally invasive expanded endonasal surgery are too high. We want to solve this problem."
The North American Skull Base Society announced the grant award at its annual conference in February 2020. The NASBS grant review committee chose its recipients based on significance, investigators' experience, innovation, approach and environment.
As the director of the Goodyear Cadaveric Lab, Forbes and a team of researchers will be testing a prototype on cadaveric specimens hoping to permanently close the defect in the skull base ensuring that spinal fluid will not seep into the brain. Forbes and Dr. Ivanna Nebor, an international fellow in Otolaryngology are working with UC Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Andrew Steckl, Ph.D., Daewoo Han, Ph.D., both with UC Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, UC Department of Otolaryngology.
The expanded endonasal approach has gained popularity in recent years as a minimally invasive surgical option, but cerebral spinal fluid leaks are still a common problem following surgery. "Our solution to this problem is a novel one," Dr. Nebor says, "No one has proposed such an experiment like this before."
The researchers are planning to use new technologies to develop a water-tight seal preventing leaks in the future. "I think they liked the science and innovation in our proposal," says Dr. Forbes, "The North American Skull Base Society felt our research will help address a significant problem in skull base surgery."
The money will be used to fund research in the Goodyear Cadaveric Laboratory, provide cadaveric specimens for the study model, a specific bio-pump and salary of the lab manager.