Instrumentation

Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 205-212

First online:

Ocular microtremor measurement system: Design and performance

  • N. F. SheahanAffiliated withMercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St. James's Hospital
  • , D. CoakleyAffiliated withMercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St. James's Hospital
  • , F. HegartyAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, St. James's Hospital
  • , C. BolgerAffiliated withMercer's Institute for Research on Ageing, St. James's Hospital
  • , J. MaloneAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, St. James's Hospital

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Abstract

The frequency of ocular microtremor (OMT) is related to the functional status of the brain stem, and thus OMT may be useful in the diagnosis and management of brain stem disorders. The paper discusses the design of an OMT measurement system and reports quantitative specifications for three portable systems. All systems use a piezo-electric element as the transducer, which measures the displacement of the sclera during eye rotations. The systems differ in the manner in which the signal is recorded. All systems can detect eye movements corresponding to displacements of the sclera ranging from 12 to over 3000 nm. The frequency responses of all systems are flat (<2 dB deviation from peak response) between 20 and 150 Hz. The phase response shows deviations (<π) at the extremes of this range, but qualitative comparison of input and measured signals demonstrates that phase distortion is not excessive. Thus all systems are acceptable for clinical studies involving OMT.

Key words

Biomedical instrument design Brain stem function Eye movement Ocular microtremor System specifications Tremor measurement