Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Tara L. Alvarez

Second Advisor

Max Roman

Third Advisor

Mesut Sahin

Abstract

Glaucoma -- a degeneration of the optic nerve- is a leading cause of blindness which is primarily caused by large fluctuations in intraocular pressure (lOP) known as diurnal variations. Because these peak in the early morning dropping off rapidly, a self administrable and inexpensive lOP home testing procedure is highly desirable. The approach contained herein -- unlike traditional Goldman applanation tonometry which requires the use of ophthalmic anesthetics and complex diagnostic equipment- describes a novel lOP measurement method consisting of concavation of the cornea or sclera through the palpebra superior by the spherical tip of an optoelectronic photodetector suspended in a force sensing probe. Three subjects participated in an experiment in which a prototype device was tested alongside traditional measurement techniques in a clinical setting. Whilst the device was designed to be initially calibrated to each individual subject for palpebral color, reflectivity and thickness, uncompensated preliminary data collected disclose proof of concept.

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