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Miniature implanted devices could treat epilepsy, glaucoma

lar pharmaceutical."

A paper about that research will be presented on Aug. 24. The paper was written by doctoral students Travis J. Hassell and Sabrina S. Jedlicka, Rickus and Irazoqui.

Another biomedical engineering project to be discussed during the conference involves the development of a sensor to be implanted in the eye to monitor glaucoma by measuring pressure in the eye's interior.

"Glaucoma is one of the big two irreversible, but preventable, causes of blindness," Irazoqui said.

The disease causes blindness from a buildup of fluid pressure in the interior chamber of the eye, killing fibers in the optic nerve. Glaucoma patients go to the doctor periodically to have their eye pressure checked. If it is high, the doctor prescribes medication or performs surgery.

"The problem is that your interocular pressure spikes over hours, sometimes minutes," Irazoqui said. "So you can be fine today and fine in six months and spend three months in the middle where it's very high, killing your optic nerve. What you really need to do is check it often, every couple of minutes, but you can't go to the doctor every couple of minutes for the rest or your life. So what you need is a device that measures your eye pressure continuously."

The research is sponsored by SOLX Inc. in Waltham, Mass.

Collaborating on the research is Babak Ziaie, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, working at the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue's Discovery Park.

The pressure sensor, which is placed between two layers of tissue in the eye, measures the interocular pressure and transmits the information to an external receiver so pressure can be continuously monitored, Irazoqui said.

A paper about that research will be presented on Aug. 25. The paper was written by doctoral student Russell P. Dresher and Irazoqui. The research paper describes the workings of a "nanoamplifier" needed to b
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Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
7-Aug-2007


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