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Fluid dynamics of droplet generation from corneal tear film during non-contact tonometry in the context of pathogen transmission

Roy, D and Sophia, M and Rasheed, A and Kabi, P and Roy, AS and Shetty, R and Basu, S (2021) Fluid dynamics of droplet generation from corneal tear film during non-contact tonometry in the context of pathogen transmission. In: Physics of Fluids, 33 (9).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0061956


Noninvasive ocular diagnostics demonstrate a propensity for droplet generation and present a potential pathway of distribution for pathogens such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. High-speed images of the eye subjected to air puff tonometry (glaucoma detection) reveal three-dimensional, spatiotemporal interaction between the puff and tear film. The interaction finally leads to the rupture and breakup of the tear film culminating into sub-millimeter sized droplet projectiles traveling at speeds of 0.2m/s. The calculated droplet spread radius �0.5 m) confirms the likelihood of the procedure to generate droplets that may disperse in air as well as splash on instruments, raising the potential of infection. We provide a detailed physical exposition of the entire procedure using high fidelity experiments and theoretical modeling. We conclude that air puff induced corneal deformation and subsequent capillary waves lead to flow instabilities (Rayleigh-Taylor, Rayleigh-Plateau) that lead to tear film ejection, expansion, stretching, and subsequent droplet formation. © 2021 Author(s).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Physics of Fluids
Publisher: American Institute of Physics Inc.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Authors
Keywords: Transmissions, Droplet formation; Droplet generation; Flow instabilities; Glaucoma detection; High speed image; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus; Spatiotemporal interactions; Theoretical modeling, Drop breakup
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2021 08:38
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2021 08:38
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/70252

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