Senior Design at Stevens is the culmination of all engineering curriculums. It is a way that Stevens hopes that students can independently use concepts learned in the classroom to solve real-world problems. In the Mechanical Engineering department, Senior Design involves designing, modeling, simulating, prototyping, and testing a marketable product. All designs must be relatively novel and restricted to a $600 budget. In addition to the technical aspects of Senior Design, students are expected to develop teamwork abilities and give presentations. The projects are capped off with the Senior Design Expo, in which all engineering students are given the chance to showcase their projects to the public.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that leads to irreparable vision loss and can be caused by high intraocular pressure (IOP). Regardless of type, its treatment is lowering IOP to a normal range of 1.33 – 2.8 kPa. IOP is maintained by a balance of the production and drainage of aqueous humor out of the anterior chamber to the exterior of the eye. Glaucoma drainage devices (GDDs) are implants that lower IOP by providing a pathway for fluid flow. Many commercial GDDs have a similar design, modified very little in the last 50 years, in which fluid is drained to a large plate on an outer layer of the eye. Newer designs have features that reduce complications associated with plate designs. Unfortunately, neither design type properly addresses the flow regulation that must be sustained in order to effectively and consistently maintain a healthy IOP.

In this project we aim to design, model, fabricate, and test a device with the following features:
  • An inlet to outlet pressure drop of 2 kPa
  • An aqueous humor outflow equal to its production rate of 2 μL/min
  • Biocompatibility
  • Fast and inexpensive fabrication method
  • Small size to minimize invasiveness and damage to the eye