Together with the companies mesotec and Acritec, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS) have developed a glaucoma measuring system, which continuously monitors and records inner-eye pressure.
‘Pressure built up in the inner eye should be continuously measured because it varies at different times of the day’, said Gerd vom Bogel at the IMS. ‘Until now, measuring methods have virtually neglected fluctuations in pressure during the day and at night.’
To combat this the IMS researchers 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 into the patient’s 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 displayed and evaluated by computer.
‘The implants are currently being tested on animals,’ said vom Bogel, ‘However, a study on humans will be conducted at the eye clinic of Cologne University in the very near future.’
The implant is then expected to be commercially available in a year’s time.