Non-Invasive Detection of Glaucoma and Other Diseases

Life Sciences : Diagnostics

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Taner Akkin, Ph.D. , Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • H. Grady Rylander III, M.D. , Biomedical Engineering
  • Thomas Milner, Ph.D. , Biomedical Engineering
  • Digant Dave, Ph.D. , Biomedical Engineering

Background/unmet need

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. When a patient contracts glaucoma, the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thins and loses functionality. Unfortunately, because ganglion cell death is irreversible, blindness often results in the later stages of the disease if left untreated. Therefore, development of methods for early detection is crucial.

Invention Description

The purpose of the invention is to characterize functionality of nerves by measurement of mechanical changes associated with neural activation. The method has been demonstrated and is being developed as a tool that may be applied to diagnose neural pathologies at an early stage. The invention may aid in the early diagnosis of glaucoma, and possibly other neural diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer?s. Moreover, the system may be useful for non-invasive physiologic monitoring in response to the application of pharmacologic agents. The method is applicable to study the functionality of all nervous tissue, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.

Benefits/Advantages

  • Compact
  • Portable
  • Easy to align
  • Early detection of neuropathies
  • Applicable to all neural structures
  • Sensitive to action potential propagation
  • No contrast agent required
  • Non-contact

Features

    Ability to non-invasively measure neural functionality in vivoIncorporation of fiber probeUses back-reflected lightMeasures nerve swellingDouble passage of light

Market potential/applications

This is a technology that has broad diagnostic applications for a variety of key diseases. Glaucoma is the initial target market, with other applications following.

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status

Web Links