Microtech 2011

Microchannel for IOP Relief and Glaucoma Treatment

D. Barth, J. Heureaux, B. Pilapil, P. Ponce de Leon, K. Zhao
Stevens Institute of Technology, US

Keywords: microfluidics, bioMEMS, glaucoma


An implantable biomedical device intended for glaucoma treatment was designed, modeled, fabricated, and tested. Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that is normally characterized by high Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and causes progressive vision loss. According to the World Health Organization, glaucoma affects around 4 million Americans and is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. All treatments involve lowering IOP. Glaucoma drainage devices (GDDs) are implants for glaucoma treatment in which a tube is inserted into the anterior chamber of the eye in order to drain aqueous humor and reduce IOP. Most current GDDs are prone to progressive failure over time due to fundamental problems with the design. The design of this device is a serpentine microchannel made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The microchannel regulates forward flow by friction. By controlling the dimensions, the pressure differential across the device can be controlled. The serpentine design allows a large total length, and thus a larger pressure differential to be placed in a small area. The long length of the channel also reduces the chances of infection by bacteria traveling up the device and into the eye.

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