Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Glaucoma Test Allows Earlier, More Accurate Detection

19.01.2011
A UA engineer has developed a new instrument that tests for glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness that afflicts more than 4 million Americans. The device makes testing for the disease easier and less invasive.

Cumbersome glaucoma tests that require a visit to the ophthalmologist could soon be history thanks to a home test developed by a University of Arizona engineer.

The self-test instrument has been designed in Eniko Enikov's lab at the UA College of Engineering. Gone are the eye drops and need for a sterilized sensor. In their place is an easy-to-use probe that gently rubs the eyelid and can be used at home.

"You simply close your eye and rub the eyelid like you might casually rub your eye," said Enikov, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. "The instrument detects the stiffness and, therefore, infers the intraocular pressure." Enikov also heads the Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory.

While the probe is simple to use, the technology behind it is complex, involving a system of micro-force sensors, specially designed microchips and math-based procedures programmed into its memory.

Enikov began working on the probe four years ago in collaboration with Dr. Gholan Peyman, a Phoenix ophthalmologist. "We went through several years of refinement and modifications to arrive at the current design," Enikov noted.

The National Science Foundation has funded the work, and Enikov and Peyman now are seeking investors to help fund final development and commercialization of the product.

In addition to screening for glaucoma, an eye disease that can lead to blindness if left untreated, the device corrects some problems with the current procedure and can be used to measure drainage of intraocular fluid.

"Eye pressure varies over a 24-hour cycle," Enikov said. "So it could be low at the doctor's office and three hours later it might be high. With only a single test, the doctor might miss the problem. Having the ability to take more frequent tests can lead to earlier detection in some cases."

Once the diagnosis is made, several treatments are available. The question then is: How effective are they? Patients could use the probe at home to trace how much the pressure decreases after using eye drop medications, for instance.

"One of the reasons pressure builds up in the eye is because fluid doesn't drain properly," Enikov noted. "Currently, there are no methods available to test drainage."

Current tests require applying pressure directly to the cornea, but only very light pressure is safe to use, and it doesn't cause the fluid to drain.

"Our technique allows us to apply slightly greater pressure, but it's still not uncomfortable," he said. "It's equivalent to rubbing your eye for a brief period to find out if the pressure changes. If it does, we know by how much and if there is a proper outflow of intraocular fluid."

Sometimes, a surgical shunt is used to help fluid drain from the eye. "The problem with glaucoma shunts is they can plug up over time," Enikov noted. "Or if they're not properly installed, they may drain too quickly. So you would want to know how well the shunt is working and if it is properly installed. Our device could help answer those questions."

In another scenario, certain patients cannot be tested for glaucoma using currently available procedures. "If a patient had cataract surgery or some other surgery through the cornea, the cornea sometimes thickens," Enikov said. "The cornea's structure is different, but our test remains accurate because it's not applied to the cornea."

Instead, it presses the entire eyeball, much as you might press a balloon to determine its stiffness.

"The innovation with our device is that it's noninvasive, simpler to use and applies to a variety of situations that are either difficult to address or impossible to test using the current procedures," Enikov said. "That's why we're so excited about this probe. It has great potential to improve medical care, and significant commercial possibilities, as well."

CONTACT:

Pete Brown, Director of Communication, UA College of Engineering,
520-621-3754, pnb@email.arizona.edu

Pete Brown | University of Arizona
Further information:
http://www.arizona.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>