HAND-HELD TONOMETER FOR TRANSPALPEBRAL INTRAOCULAR PRESSURE MEASUREMENT
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation describes the development of a portable, hand-held tonometer for measurement of the intraocular pressure through the eyelid. The primary use of such device will be by people diagnosed with the eye disease glaucoma. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and is asymptomatic to the patient in its early stages. This allows it to remain undiagnosed for prolonged periods, causing irreversible damage to the affected person's vision. Elevated intraocular pressure is the main risk factor associated with the development of glaucoma, and is currently the only symptom that is treatable for the slowing down or stopping of the progression to blindness caused by the disease. The effectiveness of the medications or procedures aimed at reducing the pressure to below risk levels is currently monitored through visits to the ophthalmologists' offices, which makes the frequent monitoring of the pressure inconvenient, expensive and sometimes impossible. Due to the variation of the pressure throughout the day and during different activities or food and beverage intake, the portability of the device is important in order to allow the user to carry it with them and take measurements as frequent as needed. The option to perform the measurement through the eyelid avoids direct contact with the eye, eliminating possible discomfort, the use of anesthetics, and the risk of contamination.Several designs and measuring concepts are evaluated using a custom made pressure regulation system. A series of prototypes have been built and tested and the results are reported in the respective sections of the dissertation. The final concept selected for the measurement technique was based on multiple force probe indentation and a custom MEMS-based force sensor for it was designed and tested.The main contributions of this dissertation are the design, fabrication and test of the prototype devices and the MEMS force sensors. The obtained results and experience described here can serve as a platform for further optimization and improvement of the device, and eventual development of a prototype capable of performing clinical research studies and passing FDA approval for home and clinical use.
Degree ProgramGraduate College