SCI-TECH & AGRI

Pressure measuring system to prevent glaucoma

RESEARCHERS HAVE developed a new measuring system which continuously monitors and records inner-eye pressure thereby helping in prevention of glaucoma, a disease which impairs vision.

The disease glaucoma develops slowly and insidiously. At first, the patient feels neither discomfort nor pain. However, excessive pressure within the eye reduces the blood supply to the retina, which can irreversibly damage the retina.

If the disease is not diagnosed at an early stage, the first apparent symptom is impaired vision.

Over a period of years, the patient experiences tunnel vision, which increasingly narrows — progressing to complete blindness.

Successful treatment requires knowledge of the precise amount of pressure within the eye but until now, measuring methods had virtually neglected fluctuations in pressure during the day and night.

To overcome this, together with the companies Mesotee and Acritec, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg have developed a measuring system, which continuously monitors and records inner eye pressure.

Scientists at IMS have developed a microchip with a pressure sensor, which is inserted into an artificial lens with an electronic transmission coil. In a simple procedure, this is implanted in the eye.

A special feature of the system is that it works without its own power supply.

The implant receives the power it requires via an antenna, which is attached to an external reading device.

The reading unit is integrated in the frame of a pair of eyeglasses and a portable device constantly records the measurements.

During regular visits to the doctor, the data is evaluated by computer. — PTI

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