Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness with 60 million cases worldwide. An elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) level has been identified as a major risk factor, and all the glaucoma therapies are aimed at lowering the IOP level. Moreover, in a recent large- scale NIH-sponsored study, researchers have found that IOP of an individual patient fluctuates largely over the course of the day, and continuous monitoring and aggressively lowering IOP in a timely manner is very crucial for optimal disease management. My research group has been developing a nanophotonics-enhanced implantable pressure sensor with remote optical readout. The sensor is compact for easy implantation, and its operation requires only a broadband light source, such as a tungsten light bulb. Bench testing has demonstrated that the sensor tracks pressures ranging from 0-40 mmHg within ±1 mmHg, and we have been successfully monitoring in vivo IOPs of live rabbits for almost two years now. This presentation will describe our IOP sensor development and progress, and I hope to leave you convinced that our approach of combining MEMS technologies with nanophotonics will eventually allow us to solve the long-standing challenge in glaucoma research and management.
Professor Hyuck Choo received B.S. and M.Eng. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the UC Berkeley, followed by postdoctoral training at UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and UCSF. He has been an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering at Caltech since 2011. His research interest includes optical microsystems, nanophotonics for nano-scale light confinement, Raman spectroscopy, and their use in biomedical applications.