Analyzing the rheological properties of bodily fluids holds great clinical value, for both diagnosing conditions and determining the effects of therapeutics. This is especially true of the vitreous humor of the eye; research shows that abnormalities in the fluid’s visocoelastic properties accompany several diseases of the eye, such as retinal tear, retinal detachment, and vitreous hemorrhage, among others. Vitreous hemorrhage frequently accompanies diabetes, whose prevalence continues to grow at an alarming rate. Even glaucoma is predicted to afflict over 3 million individuals by the year 2020.
There is thus a need for novel technologies that facilitate ocular diagnosis via rheological analysis. Previous iterations of such a device do not operate in vivo, leaving uncertainty as to the biological relevance of their results. One that does work in vivo would not only benefit ocular healthcare specifically; it would also pave the way for research into how rheological abnormalities correlate with other diseases involving bodily fluids, and the rapid diagnosis of those pathologies as well.
Professor Hossein P. Kavehpour and colleagues in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UCLA have developed a needle-like probe that quantifies the rheological properties of human fluid in vivo, obviating the need for an additional extraction step. Its size (~25 gauge) makes it highly suitable for minimally-invasive clinical and surgical practice. This device has the potential to become the new standard for rapid diagnosis of ocular diseases. As further research into body fluid rheology continues, it will likely have even more applications as both a diagnostic and research tool.
· Diagnose complications involving the vitreous humor of the eye
· Use as a research tool to study rheological properties as they relate to various diseases
· Quantify the effects of therapeutic approaches on bodily fluids of interest
Researchers have fabricated a prototype, and shown proof-of-concept by attaching it to a stress-controlled rheometer.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||10,149,651||12/11/2018||2011-208|
Rheology, ocular, diabetes, eye, fluids, vitreous humor, blood