Title page for ETD etd-04062012-142936

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Alphonse, Vanessa Dawn
Author's Email Address vda@vt.edu
URN etd-04062012-142936
Title Injury Biomechanics of the Human Eye During Blunt and Blast Loading
Degree Master of Science
Department Biomedical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Duma, Stefan M. Committee Chair
Kemper, Andrew R. Committee Member
Stitzel, Joel D. Committee Member
VandeVord, Pamela J. Committee Member
  • trauma
  • blast
  • blunt
  • risk
  • injury
  • eye
Date of Defense 2012-03-26
Availability unrestricted
The research presented in this thesis investigates eye injuries caused by blunt impacts and blast overpressure. This research represents part of an ongoing investigation to accurately quantify and predict eye injuries and injury mechanisms for various loading schemes. It has been shown that blunt trauma can cause severe eye injuries but it remains undecided whether blast overpressure alone can cause eye injury. Presented herein are four experimental studies that quantify eye injuries and implement a technique for predicting injury risk. Isolated porcine or human eyes were subjected to various loading conditions consisting of blunt projectiles, water streams, remote control helicopter blades, and blast overpressure. All eyes were prepared in a similar manner that required the insertion of a miniature pressure sensor into the globe through the optic nerve. This sensor measured intraocular pressure throughout each event. Using previously published injury risk curves, this intraocular pressure data was used to predict the injury risk for four eye injuries: hyphema, lens damage, retinal damage, and globe rupture. Injuries sustained were quantified upon direct inspection of the globe following testing. No serious eye injuries were observed for any of the tests and all tests resulted in low predicted injury risks consistent with the lack of observed injury. The research presented in this thesis provides a robust low injury level dataset for eye injuries. This data could be useful for designing and validating computational models and anthropomorphic test device eyes, and serves as a basis for future work with more dangerous projectiles and higher pressure levels.
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