Early Detection of Biomechanical Changes in Glaucoma

Project: Research project

Project Details


Abstract: Glaucoma is a progressive disease that if not detected early can lead to vision loss and blindness. The principal risk factor for glaucoma is elevated intraocular pressure and screening for this elevated pressure is the most commonly utilized method to identify at-risk individuals. Unfortunately, a single pressure measurement is associated with poor sensitivity and specificity for glaucoma detection, therefore, novel methods for screening are required. Our work has shown that Schlemm canal cells from individuals with primary open-angle glaucoma have elevated stiffness and altered biomechanical properties. However, these cells are clinically inaccessible. We propose to investigate the hypothesis that other, more easily accessible epithelial cell types in the body will also show this altered mechanobiology in individuals with glaucoma. In particular, we will collect urothelial cells taken from voided urine of patients with glaucoma and glaucoma suspects as compared with controls. We will then use atomic force microscopy to measure the stiffness of these cells, looking to evaluate the differences among these groups. Validation of our hypothesis will allow development of a diagnostic test for early detection of glaucomatous risk.
Effective start/end date1/1/1612/31/17


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Agmt #7 Signed 2/3/16 Exhibit B.5)


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