Design, Fabrication, and In Vitro Testing of an Anti-biofouling Glaucoma Micro-shunt

Ryan S. Harake, Yuzhe Ding, J. David Brown, Tingrui Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Glaucoma, one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Chronic elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), a prime risk factor for glaucoma, can be treated by aqueous shunts, implantable devices, which reduce IOP in glaucoma patients by providing alternative aqueous outflow pathways. Although initially effective at delaying glaucoma progression, contemporary aqueous shunts often lead to numerous complications and only 50% of implanted devices remain functional after 5 years. In this work, we introduce a novel micro-device which provides an innovative platform for IOP reduction in glaucoma patients. The device design features an array of parallel micro-channels to provide precision aqueous outflow resistance control. Additionally, the device’s microfluidic channels are composed of a unique combination of polyethylene glycol materials in order to provide enhanced biocompatibility and resistance to problematic channel clogging from biofouling of aqueous proteins. The microfabrication process employed to produce the devices results in additional advantages such as enhanced device uniformity and increased manufacturing throughput. Surface characterization experimental results show the device’s surfaces exhibit significantly less non-specific protein adsorption compared to traditional implant materials. Results of in vitro flow experiments verify the device’s ability to provide aqueous resistance control, continuous long-term stability through 10-day protein flow testing, and safety from risk of infection due to bacterial ingression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2394-2405
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015


  • Aqueous shunt
  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular pressure
  • MEMS
  • Polyethylene glycol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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