Investors sought for glaucoma test

January 19, 2011

A home test for glaucoma has been developed by a University of Arizona (UA) engineer and a Phoenix ophthalmologist with funding from the National Science Foundation. The two now are seeking investors to help fund final development and commercialization of the product.

Tucson, AZ-A home test for glaucoma has been developed by a University of Arizona (UA) engineer and a Phoenix ophthalmologist with funding from the National Science Foundation. The two now are seeking investors to help fund final development and commercialization of the product.

“You simply close your eye and rub the eyelid like you might casually rub your eye,” said Eniko Enikov, PhD, the UA professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering who has been collaborating on the test with Gholan Peyman, MD, for 4 years. “The instrument detects the stiffness and, therefore, infers the IOP.”

The technology behind the probe involves a system of micro-force sensors, specially designed microchips, and math-based procedures programmed into its memory. According to the researchers, the test offers several capabilities:

• It can be used to measure drainage of intraocular fluid.

• Because patients use the test at home, they can measure IOP several times a day, increasing the likelihood that a problem would be detected.

• Patients could use the probe to measure how much the IOP decreases after they use prescription eye-drop medications for the treatment of glaucoma.

• The test allows for the application of slightly greater pressure to the cornea than permitted by current tests.

• The device can help determine whether a shunt is properly installed and how well it is working.

• Because the probe presses the entire eyeball and is not applied just to the cornea, the test’s results remain accurate even in patients who have undergone cataract surgery or some other surgeries performed through the cornea, which may have thickened the cornea.