Glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness, has been linked to increases in intraocular pressure. In order to observe and study this effect, proposed is a specialized microinjector and driver that can be used to inject small amounts of liquid into a target volume. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided remotely activated devices require specialized equipment that is compatible with the MR environment. This paper presents an MR Conditional microinjector system with a pressure sensor for investigating the effects of intraocular pressure (IOP) in near-real-time. The system uses pressurized air and a linear actuation device to push a syringe in a controlled, stepwise manner. The feasibility and utility of the proposed investigative medical research tool were tested and validated by measuring the pressure inside an intact animal donor eyeball while precise, small volumes of water were injected into the specimen. Observable increases in the volume of the specimen at measured, specific target pressure increases show that the system is technically feasible for studying IOP effects, while the changes in shape were depicted in MRI scan images themselves. In addition, it was verified that the presence and operation of the system did not interfere with the MRI machine, confirming its conditional compatibility with the 3T MRI.
Keywords: MRI; actuation; blindness; eye; glaucoma; image guided; intraocular pressure; magnetic resonance; microinjector; pneumatic.