© Fraunhofer IKTS
Digital twin of the eye for computer-based parameter extraction.

Eye diseases particularly limit the quality of life of those affected. Most diseases show a progressive course and result in irreversible damage to eye structures. If such diseases are detected at an early stage, their progression can be slowed down or even stopped.

In a joint research project, scientists from Fraunhofer IKTS and the Medical Faculty of the Technische Universität Dresden are investigating eye diseases that are associated with altered biomechanical properties of the cornea. Two diseases are the focus of the project. One is keratoconus, a disease in which there is irregular protrusion and thinning of the cornea. The other is glaucoma, a multifactorial disease with loss of nerve fibers leading to visual field loss. Both diseases are associated with altered biomechanical properties of the cornea, which can be determined using a special air pulse tonometer.

To determine the corneal properties, a defined force must act on the cornea and cause a measurable deformation. Air pulse tonometers in combination with high-speed cameras are particularly suitable for this purpose. A virtual twin modeled from the acquired data then enables the translation of the complex corneal behavior into characteristic values of the corresponding corneal components, which can be interpreted using computer-aided methods.

Funding: Resources of the European Union ERDF fund

Project timeframe: December 2019 – March 2022

Project partners: Technische Universität Dresden, Medical Faculty