Date of Thesis



Eye injuries are a large societal problem in both the military and civilian sectors. Eye injury rates are increasing in recent military conflicts, and there are over 1.9 million eye injuries in the United States civilian sector annually. In order to develop a better understanding of eye injury risk, several previous studies have developed eye injury criteria based on projectile characteristics. While these injury criteria have been used to estimate eye injury potential of impact scenarios, they require that the mass, size and velocity of the projectile are known. It is desirable to develop a method to assess the severity of an eye impact in environments where it would be difficult or impossible to determine these projectile characteristics. The current study presents a measurement technique for monitoring intraocular pressure of the eye under impactloading. Through experimental tests with a custom pressure chamber, a subminiature pressure transducer was validated to be thermally stable and suitable for testing in an impact environment.Once validated, the transducer was utilized intraocularly, inserted through the optic nerve, to measure the pressure of the eye during blunt-projectile impacts. A total of 150 impact tests were performed using projectiles ranging from 3.2 mm to 17.5 mm in diameter. Investigation of the relationship between projectile energy and intraocular pressure lead to the identification of at least two distinct trends. Intraocular pressure and normalized energy measurements indicated a different response for penetrating-type globe rupture injuries with smaller diameter (d < 1 cm)projectiles, and blunt-type globe rupture injuries with larger diameter (d > 1 cm) projectiles. Furthermore, regression analysis indicates that relationships exist between intraocular pressureand projectile energy that may allow quantification of eye injury risk based on pressure data, and also that intraocular pressure measurements of impact may lead to a better understanding of thetransition between penetrating and blunt globe rupture injury mechanisms.


intraocular pressure, force, kinetic energy, normalized energy, globe rupture

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Eric Allen Kennedy