People suffering from glaucoma often endure high intra-ocular pressure (IOP). Methods for determining IOP either contact the eye or are unpleasant to some patients. There is therefore a need for a rapid and patient friendly non-contacting method to determine IOP. To address this need, we developed a tonometer prototype that employs spark-gap induced shock waves and a laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) that reads the amplitude of membrane waves. The IOP was first identified from the membrane wave propagation velocity first in a custom-made ocular phantom and was then verified in ex vivo porcine eyes. The time-of-flight (TOF) of the membrane wave travelling on a hemispherical membrane was compared to reference IOP values in the sample obtained with an iCare TA01 tonometer. The shock front was characterized by high speed photography. Within one eye, the method achieved an agreement of 5 mmHg (1.96 standard deviation between the shock wave tonometer and the commercial manometer) and high method-to-method association (Pearson correlation, R-2 = 0.98). The results indicate that the presented method could potentially be developed into a non-contacting technique for measuring IOP in vivo.
Fields of Science
- 3125 Otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology