Design, Fabricate, and Test an in vitro System to Investigate Therapeutic Hypothermia in Porcine Eyes

2017-11-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Samuel Dreyer
Traumatic eye injuries are 4th in volume behind traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and hearing loss for serious injuries among active duty personnel. An injury to the eye is a precursor for a long-term visual disability including blindness or loss of visual acuity and is often caused by ischemia to the retinal cells responsible for vision. Therapeutic hypothermia has been shown to have a neuroprotective effect. If the eye can be cooled, it may be possible to mitigate this damage. The eye can be treated by local hypothermia, avoiding the risks and slow implementation associated with systemic hypothermia. The main goal of this project was to reduce the temperature of the posterior pole of the eye and proximal optic nerve by contacting the anterior surface of the eye. In this thesis, a compact solid-state eye cooler is proposed to address the significant need for a portable, field-deployable, robust means of achieving and maintaining therapeutic cooling of eye tissues following traumatic injury. In clinical use, the objective is to develop a device that will be applied as soon as possible after injury, during transport from the field, and while the patient is awaiting definitive therapy in the hospital.