Intracranial pressure technology development for usage in glaucoma
Dr. Fabrice Giraudet
Dr. Grégory Gerenton (www.echodia.fr/)
Prof. Paul Avan (http://www.u-clermont1.fr/neuro-dol.html)
Background & Interests
My name is Jeferson J. da Silva, and I am from Brazil. I carried out my studies at the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC-MG), where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. I completed my Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), where I worked in the Nucleus of Studies and Research in Biomedical Engineering (NEPEB). During my master’s degree I took part in two research projects related to evaluation of the auditory system and neural responses (EEG) to sensorial stimuli: “Investigation of event-related potential in sensory and cognitive process integration” and the development of the “Portable system for objective assessment of physiological hearing threshold: early diagnosis of hearing impairment.” Here I got experience in a wide range of signal processing methods, software and firmware programming, biomedical signal recording and equipment calibration. I have also, three years of experience as a teacher of technical education in the electronics department and biomedical equipment.
In October 2016, I joined the ECHODIA company in Clermont-Ferrand, France, to develop my PhD project.
Aim of the project
One common goal of several Egret-+ projects is to evaluate the part of intracranial pressure (ICP) in the pathophysiology of glaucoma. Noninvasive monitoring of ICP changes is possible through the ear using sound-evoked responses from the inner ear, and methods have been developed that reliably hint at absolute ICP, e.g. from the outcome of the body-tilt experiments wherein subjects serve as their own controls. However, in the context of glaucoma, this project will require ICP measurements repeated over the course of several days or months (e.g. to follow up the effect of a treatment of glaucoma). To provide reliable, tolerably fast measurements (ideally, that patients could perform at home), the current measuring systems must be upgraded and their improvements, validated clinically in samples of patients. The goal of this project is to design and compare signal processing methods more advanced than simple spectral analysis and threshold-based epoch rejection to improve the robustness of signal extraction from background acoustic noise (with atypical, non-Gaussian statistical properties) and speed up data collection even in patients with decreased cochlear responses due to ageing. With the aim of developing self-administered daily tests by unskilled patients, calibration methods will have to be established that control not only the levels of sound stimuli, but also their phases, highly sensitive to probe positioning and (even slight) variations in the ear’s impedance.