The equilibrium state of the eye is achieved through a delicate balance of fluid flow, with a continuous cycle of production and drainage. The intraocular dynamics maintains the intraocular pressure (IOP) at a constant level but any condition that adversely affects its stability results in the onset of glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness. The underlying mechanisms are by no means fully understood but several glaucoma theories rely on the fluid flow-related phenomena. High IOP is the major risk factor and most treatments include IOP-lowering actions. However, gold-standard IOP measurement is just a snapshot with low sensitivity. Thus, many questions remain open that are critical to understand the dynamic factors that control the IOP.
The GRAVITEYE project will develop a smart intraocular implant based on novel biomedical sensing technologies to monitor the IOP dynamics, track the pulsatile fluctuations and decipher the intraocular fluid motion. The integrated platform will be encapsulated in a commercial intraocular lens and include (i) bio-fitted flexible sensors, (ii) ultrathin-film stretchable interconnections and (iii) a Radio-Frequency antenna for wireless powering and communication. The completion of the smart platform and its further validation will unveil novel scientific avenues in glaucoma and open up new possibilities to explore potential biomarkers for the microgravity-induced ocular changes in astronauts, one of the highest-priority physiological area in space medicine.
GRAVITEYE, is built on the complementary expertise of the host in stretchable electronics and ultrathin chip integration for biomedical applications and of the fellow in Visual Optics, Photonics and Optical Engineering, and will provide a comprehensive training plan, to boost Dr. Pérez-Merino career. The outcome of this project will in addition enhance the EU leading position in flexible electro-optic components for smart medical implantable devices and vision care.
Fields of science
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