Collaboration with Bionaut Labs

The Dandy-Walker Alliance is excited to collaborate with Bionaut Labs to educate our constituency about a new treatment for obstructive hydrocephalus associated with Dandy-Walker Syndrome.

Bionaut Labs has developed a “Bionaut™,” a remote-controlled micro-scale robot designed to treat life-threatening central nervous system conditions by delivering therapies to regions of the brain that are otherwise difficult or impossible to access with current interventions. The device is smaller than a grain of rice, measuring about one millimeter in length.

Learn more about the Bionaut™ devices below, or email for additional information. 

An Innovative Micro-Technology to Treat Obstructive Hydrocephalus Associated with Dandy-Walker Syndrome 

Over the last 5 years, Bionaut Labs has developed a potentially life-saving technology for which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted two accelerated designations: Humanitarian Use Device to treat cerebral cysts associated with Dandy-Walker Syndrome, and an Orphan Drug Designation to treat malignant gliomas.

Bionaut Labs is working tirelessly to advance micro-robotics as a novel modality to target previously inaccessible parts of the body and to potentially treat and improve management of currently incurable diseases.

Bionauts at Work

To treat obstructive hydrocephalus associated with Dandy-Walker Syndrome, the Bionaut is introduced at the base of the skull using a standard injection technique, much like that used for epidural anesthesia. It is then precisely guided by a computerized external magnetic propulsion system to pierce the cyst, thereby relieving the obstruction and normalizing flow of cerebrospinal fluid. The Bionaut is then removed from the body. The magnetic energy required for Bionaut guidance does not involve radiation and is less than 10% of that used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The procedure is designed to be minimally invasive and is expected to take approximately an hour in a standard neuro-interventional suite.

A Bionaut next to a penny for size comparison.
A Bionaut next to a penny for size comparison. Photo courtesy of Bionaut Labs.
A Call to Action

Bionaut Labs’ mission is to improve the lives of individuals with central nervous system conditions such as obstructive hydrocephalus associated with Dandy-Walker Syndrome. Their goal is to reduce the need for highly invasive and complication-prone procedures such as ventriculoperitoneal shunts and third ventriculostomies to bypass cyst-related CSF obstructions. Planning is already underway to conduct clinical trials in leading neurosurgical centers across the United States. 

In order to develop the Bionaut system, Bionaut Labs needs images of cranial cysts associated with Dandy-Walker Syndrome where obstructive hydrocephalus is present. These can either be MRI or computed tomography (CT) scans for our engineering team to better understand the variations of cyst anatomy that occurs in patients with Dandy-Walker Syndrome where obstructive hydrocephalus is present. Such anatomic data is essential to optimize the clinical performance of the Bionaut. 

If you or your loved one meet these criteria and are willing to share any head MRI or CT image sets, you will be supporting the development of a promising ground-breaking therapeutic platform that could significantly improve the lives of patients with obstructive hydrocephalus associated with Dandy-Walker Syndrome and those with other serious central nervous system conditions. 

Images will be securely maintained in a highly confidential matter, and, with your consent, only shared with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators and the scientific community in an anonymized fashion, without any personally identifying information. Should you be interested to help, Bionaut Labs will send a simple consent form for your review and signature, along with the instructions for sending your images. 

If you have questions, please contact the Bionaut Labs clinical team at

About Bionaut Labs

Bionaut Labs was founded in 2016 by a passionate team of scientists, clinicians, and engineers dedicated to improving the lives of patients with difficult to treat central nervous system conditions. The company is developing a groundbreaking micro-robotic platform that will allow unprecedented access to the brain, potentially enabeling delivery of therapies for a variety of life-threatening disorders in a way that is currently not possible. It is compromised of more than 40 team members and expert advisors across multiple disciplines including robotics, engineering, neurosurgery, biology, and drug discovery. Bionaut Labs is based in Los Angeles with satellite research centers in Israel and at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. 

Bionaut Labs CEO and Founder Michael Shpigelmacher holding a case with a Bionaut. Photo courtesy of Bionaut Labs.